Faith in the Future
"Look at the world. It's so beautiful." I had just sat down to write this column when my six year old son startled me with this statement. Ethan's words were a timely reminder that great changes contain the possibility of something better and greater for all of us. Change is certainly afoot. We are in the midst of global economic, financial and environmental transitions. We are being called to identify choices, make decisions, and operate differently than ever before.
How do we ride the rollercoaster of these changes? Consider these ideas...
- Harness the power of perspective. What is working? What are the opportunities in your life? Perspective makes all the difference. In other words, when negative circumstances enter your life, a positive perspective will allow you to notice opportunities, listen to your gut, and make choices based in your best interest, rather than on your fear.
- Everyone's path is unique and individual. Even if friends, neighbors or family members have lost a job, a house or substantial investments, these events - while very unfortunate - do not mean that you will experience the same losses.
- Examine the truth about your circumstances. Look honestly at each domain of your life. Do you have legitimate cause for concern? In what areas do you need to ask for help? Where do you need to take action?
- Make a list of what you know to be true about yourself and what you've accomplished throughout your life. If you start to doubt yourself, pull out this list and remind yourself how strong you are.
- Understand the psychological process of transition. In his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, William Bridges says, "...change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won't work, because it doesn't 'take'." Bridges' book outlines the contexts of the three phases of transition - I highly recommend this book as a source of support.
While it can be easy to let fear, apprehension and anxiety flood our thoughts, in the long term, these responses don't help us. Try out the strategies I've mentioned and observe what changes for you.
I have a saying that I often share with clients: "Clarity is usually preceded by a lack of clarity." I encourage you to have faith in the future, to focus on the beautiful, and embrace what's positive in your life. A positive outlook does truly beget more positive life experiences. And while larger economic, financial and environmental forces swirl around us, we are still in charge of our energy, our thoughts and mindset.
As much as possible, stay positive! In these turbulent times, let wonder back into your life. Look at the world. It's so beautiful.
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Learn more at Claudette Rowley.com.