There are times when we make a conscious effort to start fresh and make a better life for ourselves – New Year’s resolutions come to mind right away. It’s almost ritualistic in how we approach these promises we make to ourselves. Sometimes we keep them, many times we don’t. These promises are safe to make because we have control over when we choose to ‘reset’ and whether we even follow through at all. If only life were always this predictable…
Death, divorce (and unforeseen global pandemics) can upend our lives in ways we never expected causing massive emotional devastation and financial turmoil. The impact seems so much greater because we did not choose for this to happen. We did not want this to happen.
Whether we choose or it is chosen for us, the outcome of these events can actually lead to extremely positive life changes – but we have to be willing to do just one thing to make that happen…
We have to let go.
Getting back to the way things were may not be possible, practical, or even what’s best for us – and coming to terms with that may be that hardest part of the journey. Let me give you a few tips to help you re-frame your situation so that you can take control of your life path again.
Allow yourself time to grieve
Change is hard. Losing someone you love or a business you built can seem like the end of the world. (Spoilers: It’s not, you have your whole life ahead of you!) Be gentle with yourself, and understand that it’s alright to be sad.
Accept what’s happening to you
You don’t have to like the situation that you find yourself in, but you do have to accept it. The world moves on whether you want it to or not, and the most empowering things that you can do is take responsibility. It’s not your fault, but it is your life. You’re the only one who can change it.
Define new goals that are realistic
If you continue down the same path you have always traveled, your result will always be the same. Change in difficult times can be painful, but setting new goals can be exhilarating and life altering. If you want a new life, there is no better time than now to start. Set realistic deadlines and take small steps towards making each one a reality.
Having people to help guide you is imperative during times of change. Friends, family, therapists and coaches can all be amazing sources of strength and inspiration. With enough time, experience, and perspective you will see that it is possible to turn what was once a tragedy into a redefining moment to start the life you’ve always deserved.