Let’s talk about STRESS baby!

“Change is the only constant in life. One’s ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life.” – Benjamin Franklin.

It’s true, but the thinking mind doesn’t like this. It likes certainty. It wants things to stay the same. But they don’t.

Sometimes these changes happen because we choose them, like resigning from work or leaving a relationship.

Sometimes these changes happen ‘to us’, like being made redundant or a partner leaving.

Regardless of the change being chosen or not, we can choose how we deal with it and what we do next. That is the joy of coaching. Working with people to help them face change and come out of it the other side with more of what they want rather than what they don’t want.

I am currently working with clients who are;

  • closing one business to focus on another
  • planning retirement
  • leaving the corporate world to… go into a different line of work, get a different job, start a business
  • creating a new lifestyle after being signed off sick

And combinations of the above.

Whether you have chosen the change or it is unexpected, there are ways that you can ‘take control’.

How to take control

Firstly, you need to get clear on what you want. Whilst that may sound obvious, simple and easy, I can tell you it’s not.

This has been a deep topic of conversation with clients who are making significant changes.

One, whose life has changed significantly since being signed off sick and subsequently leaving a high-profile job, has multiple options. Reaching out to his network to help get more of what he wants in life is a great move. Initially, he spoke about what he didn’t want and whilst that may seem like you are being clear, the other person is only getting instructions to look for what you don’t want rather than what you do.

Imagine going to a restaurant and only telling the waiter what you don’t want. How long would it take for them to get your order?

So be clear on what you DO want.

Secondly, you need to be clear on why you want that. What do you think this new lifestyle will give you? What benefits are you looking for?

Lindsay (not her real name), is working full out and has been for decades. She is dedicated and well thought of in her industry. And knackered! She wants to make sure that she continues to deliver to a high standard, wants to continue working AND wants to look at changing some of the behaviours she has in order to take care of herself more. This, like the above client, is a big lifestyle change, but Lindsay is clear on why she wants it. She knows the purpose behind the changes she is making and is therefore prepared to give new habits a go.

Do you have a clear ‘why’?

Often this is where people stop. They get clarity on what they want, they know the ‘why’, and they imagine that in some magic way, things will change. Well they will, but maybe not in the way you would like.

You need to get involved with the process, whether the change is being thrust upon you or you have chosen it. You need to take action.

Here is someone that did exactly that – Michelle

Finally, who can you share this with? Many find it a challenge to share their ambitions or goals with others, for fear of judgement. That judgement often starts with how you are thinking about you and the desired lifestyle, and that’s a whole ’nother blog post!

Making sure you are clear with the what (1) and the why (2), helps you to take steps with the how (3). The bonus comes when you share this with others.

It doesn’t have to be a huge announcement on social media or an ad in the paper. And you do not have to share it with everyone you know. But sharing it with key supportive people helps.

Here is Wendy’s story (actual name as her story is in my book, which you can buy HERE

More than a decade ago now, Wendy wanted to make change. Significant change. To move from the UK to Australia. Obviously the first people to be involved and share the news with was her family. Slowly as more pieces of the puzzle came together, the more people they shared it with. I was honoured to walk through the whole year of planning and prepping with her and her family.

They were clear on what they wanted and why. The how was uncertainty every day. Because every day they had to do things they had not done before. It was a great lesson in taking one day at a time, step by step. But step by step they did it. Sharing with others are they went along the journey. Sharing helped in many ways; with her coach (me) to help face the obstacles and fears; with friends as they helped make their last few months in the UK very special; work colleagues to reach out for contacts. It wasn’t a ‘straight line’ process. But more than a decade on, Wendy and I still work together (the joy of technology). She hasn’t looked back.

You can use the above steps even in the uncertainty that is happening in today’s world.

In the last few weeks there are more and more people facing change due to the Covid-19 outbreak. And for many people this is enforced change. Creating high levels of uncertainty. It may not seem like it, but you do have a choice as to how you react to this.

In the UK, as I write this, there is no enforced lockdown. But recommendations of self isolation.

What I do know is that we need to stay calm. Focusing on fear creates stress in the body and reduces our immune system (READ MORE HERE). Stressing about the situation has an impact on your body, and that is not great for the body. Focusing on ways to be calm, have fun and be relaxed is much better for your health.

There are ways that you can do this for both the body, and the mind.

Whether we are planning the changes in our lives or they are ‘happening to us’, we need to look at what we can do and start taking those steps, no matter how small in that direction.

If any of the above has resonated with you, and you would like to talk about personal support, email me jules@juleswyman.com and let’s set up a convenient time for a coaching conversation.

Much gratitude, be kind, be gentle, be aware.