Bouncing back

Life happens. It doesn’t matter how positive, balanced and centred you are, there are going to be times when you are knocked sideways. Times when your carefully organised life is turned upside down and you get knocked for six. Life happens!

You may be challenged with any number of situations that will leave you feeling like you were kicked in the stomach. It may be the loss of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job, bullying or the plain stupidity of some people who affect your life.

Let’s face it. Things happen. They’re part of life and although I know that “everything happens for a reason,” things still hurt. And they hurt a lot! They hurt at the very core of your being. The pain begins in your heart and radiates throughout your entire being.

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At times like these, you may feel down, possibly depressed. You may feel anger or some other manifestation of your pain. You may feel out of control and that life will never get better. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s ok. It’s ok to feel hurt, sad, angry, used, miserable or whatever your true feelings are. You cannot deny pain any more than you can deny fear. The only way through this is to give yourself permission to feel the feeling.

The question is not whether or not you will feel down. The question is for how long will you stay in this state?

The difference between people who get through life’s challenging moments, regardless of the seriousness, and those who are immobilised by the events is their ability to bounce back. That isn’t to say they care any less, they give themselves permission to move on.

How quickly can you bounce back?  Of course, the severity of the event will have a lot to do with the time it will take you to get past the pain and on with your life.

Take the example of two people being downsized from their job, something that is becoming a common occurrence these days. One is floored by the news of her dismissal. She expresses her pain by becoming angry at her employers, her colleagues and the system in general. She spends her days telling anyone who’ll listen, about her “problem” and how hard done by she is.  And usually from a bar stool!

As she sees it, her life is ruined and she’s blaming everyone for her troubles. People who react like this spend weeks, even months, wallowing in despair until, if they’re fortunate, someone close to them convinces them to seek professional help.

On the other hand, the other person reacts very differently. Although they have gone through the same experience and have pretty much the same issues like living expenses, etc., they choose to react differently.

After a brief period of feeling a loss of self-esteem, self-pity and anger (quite naturally), they decide to get back in the game. They begin contacting their network of colleagues and friends, avail themselves of courses and other services their former employer offered everyone and starts actively looking for a new position. In a short time they find their “dream job” with an exciting new company.

While both people in our hypothetical example had the same experience and both went through a period of hurting, the time each allowed themselves to remain in that dis-empowering state was vastly different. While one remained “stuck” in their problem, the other handled their loss and moved on with their life.

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This is the key. It’s not whether life occasionally puts you into a tailspin, it’s how long you choose to remain there.

When something devastating happens to you, allow yourself some time to grieve your loss, that is essential.  However, don’t allow yourself to get stuck there. Take some action. Join a support group, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or a professional.

In the case of a job loss, perhaps you might want to take some time to re-evaluate your career goals. You may even consider a change in career altogether. When you’re ready, you can begin networking and making new contacts.  Attend social or networking events. Call people you know. Do something!

One of the most important things to remember in high stress situations is not to allow yourself to become isolated. While spending some time alone is normal, even necessary, isolation can be dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Get out and be with people as soon as possible.

Remember “life is for the living.” It’s important to get back to your life. In time, the pain will pass.

Contact me to have a free chat on how my coaching will help you get back on track.

Maggie Currie

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Are you being emotionally abused?

If only I had known there were questions to ask myself thirty years ago, I would have been asking them of myself daily.

I spent many years being emotionally abused by my first husband, my parents, my in-laws.  At the time I was totally unaware that it was happening.

For instance I was advised by my parents to stay in a marriage that wasn’t working because they felt I was too young to make a decision on divorce.  I was treated as a possession by my husband who was obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair whilst out shopping with my three small children.  My in-laws constantly told me I wasn’t good enough to be part of their family.

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But now, after working so very hard to find myself and who I really am, I have thought about what was happening to me and how it affected me.

If I knew then what I know now I would be asking these questions of myself:

  • Am I living my life for me or for someone else?
  • Am I really happy with the way I am treated by other people?
  • Is this all there really is for me?
  • Why do I always feel so miserable?
  • Why don’t people listen to what I have to say?
  • I am doing my best to please everyone, why aren’t they pleased?
  • I have no self-esteem, why doesn’t someone appreciate me for being me?
  • I am going through life in a daze, is there more to life than this?
  • I didn’t sign up for this, why am I being treated like an idiot?
  • Am I invited along just to make up the numbers?
  • Is there a way that I can make my life better?

Do any of those questions have some relevancy to your life today? If they do, even if only a couple of them, then you are being emotionally abused.  You are allowing other people to run your life, and you are allowing them to judge you and make decisions on your behalf.

The answer to the last question is yes, there is a way that you can make your life better.  Start living your life for you.  Don’t allow other people to judge you, you are a person in your own right and deserve to live the life you want.  There is nothing at all wrong with disagreeing with someone who you feel is wrong.  The world won’t end if you move away from people who are causing you misery. If you feel you are being invited along to make up the numbers, then politely refuse the invitation.

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You will find that when you change your attitude to other people, they will also change their attitude towards you.  It will take time, but you will notice the difference and start to live the life you want to live and stop the emotional abuse.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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Redirecting your emotions

Intense emotions demand intense methods of expression.  There are many outlets for positive feelings – being creative, enjoying the fresh air, talking with friends, having fun – there are however far fewer methods for coping constructively with negative feelings of anger, frustration, fear, sadness, or stress. Consequently, such feelings can lead us to believe that we are not in control of our emotional state.

When we are backed into a mental corner, we may well lash out at the very first person we encounter.  Most of us will discover very quickly that our misdirected outpouring of fury has done nothing to relieve the pressure of our pain, in fact it has probably exacerbated it.

How do I know I am in a relationship that is bad for me?

Powerful emotions can be likened to the lava in a volcano, just waiting to erupt, temporarily held in check by an ever eroding layer of calm. Within us lies the power to direct that flood of feeling that surges forth by channelling it into productive, artistic or physically tiring activities.

Retaking control of our emotions at their height can often be very difficult.  This is because our already negative feelings can convince us, however wrongly, that others are deserving of our wrath.  But, when we consciously look for alternative ways of expressing what we feel, we will relieve our pain and use the energy of that pain to add even more value to our lives.

Anger or sadness is the inspiration that inspires us to dedicate ourselves to bringing about a change we wish to see in the world.  If we act rather than react, we will become very effective agents of positive transformation. When we channel our frustration or feelings of stress into “outside-the-box thinking” and various proactive exploits, we will discover solutions to the issues that initially left us stuck in this negative state.

And when we view fear as a sign that we need to re-examine our circumstances rather than a sign to flee, we will gain new, and possibly unexpected, insight into our lives.

Channelling your emotions into constructive action will also prevent you from reliving situations, events or even expectations that sparked your feelings in your mind’s eye.  Since you are now focusing on a goal, your pain is no longer being fed by your emotional energy and will ebb away rapidly.  You will not only avoid lashing out at others, but you will also take an active  part in your own healing process while still honestly acknowledging and honouring your feelings.

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Journalling helps with getting your emotions under control and will help you get your thoughts in order.  Just the act of writing down your thoughts will help you to realise where your thoughts are directed and where you may need to change some of the thoughts that are no longer serving you.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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