Come Out on Top After an Upheaval

Illness strikes. A loved one dies. The economy shifts. You lose your job.

Let’s face it, upheaval happens whether you’re ready or not. For some people, they crumble at the first hint of disaster. Others somehow manage to somehow still succeed even when things look the direst.

Which are you? Use these eight proven techniques, and you’ll come out on top every time.

Give Yourself a Break – Why are you expecting so much of yourself right now? When in crisis, recognize you’re not going to have all the answers, at least not immediately. Take a step back and acknowledge this is hard and confusing, and cut yourself some slack. This will help you relax and start thinking.

Anticipate Fear – Know this is scary. Upheaval is all about sudden change, and you’re going to find yourself floundering initially. Fear is reasonable in this kind of situation. It’s what you do with this fear, which is what counts in the end. Remember, anticipating doesn’t mean caving into fear, but only acknowledging it’s there.

Breathe – Now, before you do anything, take a deep breath. Let it out slow, then take another. First reactions usually aren’t the best ones. By taking time to breathe, you’re giving yourself a minute to figure out what to do, not to mention taking in a little added oxygen so you can think.

Accept – OK, this wasn’t what you wanted. Rather than fight against the change caused by the crisis, try embracing it as an opportunity to learn from the situation and to try doing things a different way.

Rewrite the Narrative – This continues the idea from the last point. What words are you using to talk about the crisis? Is this a ‘disaster’ or an ‘unscheduled adventure’? Look for a more positive way to redefine the situation.

Drop the Negativity – Speaking of positive, what’s your self-talk right now? Don’t get caught up in negativity here, either. Instead of beating yourself up, praise yourself for your courage in facing the upheaval with a positive attitude.

Practice Change – Get used to the idea of doing things differently by practicing change in small and safe ways. Adjust how you do something every day, such as changing the route you drive on the way to work. This helps your brain to build flexibility and readies you for the extensive changes necessary to handle this crisis.

Know You’ve Got This – Most important of all, remind yourself you’ve been through other disasters and survived. You’re going to be just fine so long as you hang in there.

Success, even in the wake of disaster, never happens by chance. It takes intentionality to come out on top. By learning these eight techniques, you’ll not only survive the upheaval, but you’ll become one of those people who thrive on adversity.

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