How to Navigate Change When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

navigate change when life throws a curve ballTo navigate change in life is difficult at best. In baseball the curveball thrown by the pitcher can make unpredictable turns as it sails over the homeplate where the batter is swinging to hit the ball. If the batter misses hitting the ball, he, or she, may strike out.  But that does not mean that the batter has failed, there may be more innings in the game and the batter may get another chance at bat.  Curveballs can cause havoc in our lives, but that doesn’t mean our lives have to be identified as failures—setbacks yes, failures, no.  There is still life to be lived.

I understand the impact of a curveball sailing into my life firsthand.  My husband and business partner, Gene Gatty experienced a sequence of serious medical complications in the second half of 2020.  He died on November 1st.  Aside from being my life partner, as my business partner, he was responsible for two of the critical areas of our business services was gone.  I had to take steps to pivot in the business and over the next two years rearrange the services that our company could continue to provide.

I realized that I could not make rational and realistic decisions during the initial grief stages of my loss but took steps to experience the loss and come to grips with reality.  To navigate change in my life, from personal home life to business partnership were forever altered.  Yet, I refused to allow this huge loss to debilitate me.  I knew that I had to continue and create the next life chapter of my life.  Life would be different, but it didn’t have to be the end to all things positive.  I decided that I would get up every morning and pursue a meaningful future that was still to come.

And here I am now, writing to you and telling you the same.  Life has ups and downs and sometimes the downs seem like an abyss but there is always hope for the future.  If I can make it so, can you.  You too can navigate change.  Here are two rules for you to recognize.

Rule # 1 Change is inevitable and will happen in life.  Bad things happen in life. We don’t ask for them, but they still happen. It will happen to you, and it may make you adjust how you navigate getting through days, weeks, and months.

Rule #2:  You have what it takes to power through changes. Trust that you know what’s best for you and believe that you have what it takes to work through the pain.

There are three parts to coping I want you to embrace when life throws you a curveball: 1) stop, recognize the reality of the curveball; 2) strategize what recovery will look like and 3) follow through with new habits and routines.

Stop and recognize the reality.

Recognize that you are mad or angry.  That’s okay. Right now, you may be telling yourself that being downsized out of a job, getting dumped by your significant other, or being passed over for the promotion you expected is the end of the world as you know it. However, you don’t know that for sure.

Truthe be told, you can’t see the future, but you can navigate change. Would your life have been perfect if you had gotten the raise you were gunning for, or if you had married that person who dumped you? Maybe, but maybe not. What looks like a huge loss at the present could be a blessing in disguise. You don’t know yet.  You can wish for things to be different in the future, but at this moment in time you must accept things as they are.

I always tell people to “Scale it.”  On a scale of one to ten, how significant is this loss?   Be realistic.  Ten represents incredible destitute—one represents annoyance.  It could be a ten, I get it but that is usually not the case.  You have strength to rely on—you may just never have discovered it.  Now is the time to believe in yourself.  You are worth it and you need to remind yourself ev-er-y-day.

Your life is always an adventure worth pursuing. You can’t let setbacks—even the major ones, send you on a complete nosedive. Give yourself time to acknowledge and navigate change. Then get back in the baseball game and swing for the fences,

Strategize What Recovery Will Look Like:

In times of stress and struggle your own personal care might be the last thing on your priority list, but it can’t be. Taking time out to treat yourself to something that makes you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, or centered really does help the healing process.

One of the reasons why being thrown a curveball is so incredibly painful is because it makes you feel like you have no control over what happens to you. After all, you believed that you were doing all the right things.  But in this current moment you believe that the “right” results didn’t materialize, in spite of your efforts.  Give it time to reflect.  Maybe the results that occurred are actually the better results you couldn’t see at that moment.

And please do not make decisions in haste.  Some decisions are better made with the passage of time and the clearing of emotions.  When life throws you a curve ball, your mind may start racing and you’re trying to think several steps ahead of your current situation.  Let your inner voice remind you to stay in the present moment and take each step as it comes along.

As life unfolds, you can begin to discern what the future can look like, how to navigate change, and how you can succeed.  Begin to establish a vision of how this new version of life can unfold.

Follow through with new habits:

Every curve ball presents an opportunity to learn something new or modify perspectives. Whether it’s about your personal lifestyle concern, or a business concern, learn from the experience.  Review what available resources you have at your disposal to assist with moving through this transitionary period. Identify what support systems or people can provide relief and guidance.

But most of all, allow yourself to establish new habits that may be necessary to reach your new vision of your future. At some point in the future, you’ll have acquired new wisdom, thanks to this curve ball.

Life would be easier and less painful without curve balls. But that’s not reality and life is full of twists and turns. Curve balls don’t have to take us out of the game. We have a choice in how we respond.

I am suggesting that anyone who experiencing a curveball in life or considering how to navigate a life transition, download my free e-book, A Guide to Handling Life Transitions. This step-by-step processprovides insightful activities that assist with making wise decisions during a time of uncertainty and questions.  Your inner strength and your tenacity is a blessing the world is waiting to witness.

Carpe diem.

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