Four Tips for When Things Don’t Go to Plan

upset lady

Sometimes, that’s how it happens – you’re just going about your day when suddenly you receive horrible news. Dealing with major changes in life is hard enough; but dealing with unexpected change and sudden turmoil can be devastating.

How can you cope?

Here are four tips for dealing with the unexpected that may help you get through a difficult and challenging time.

1. Acceptance

While it’s understandable that you can’t immediately accept what happened, one thing you can accept is the fact that you are not in control of everything. No one can control every aspect of their lives, and when it comes to the unexpected, it’s often something outside of your home or family anyway. You can only control yourself, and even then that’s not 100 percent!

2. Give Yourself Time to Grieve

If the unexpected event is something that makes you grieve, go ahead and do it. Set aside some time to feel sad, and don’t guilt-trip yourself over it. It’s not “wallowing” in the problem if you’re doing what you need to do emotionally within a reasonable time.

Also, give yourself space to delay grieving if need be. This may sound like the opposite of the above, but really, it’s not. The point is to grieve when you’re ready, whether it’s right after the event or some time in the future. Other people may tell you that you should be “over it” by now, or that you’re over it too quickly, or whatever. Your grieving is yours – it’s not something to please other people or present the “correct” appearance.

3. Focus on Your Purpose

A purpose can serve as an anchor when sudden change and unexpected tragedy come your way. A clear purpose – large or small, long-term or short-term – helps you hold on to your dreams and goals. These dreams and goals can act as a beacon in the middle of a dark time.

4. Look for Opportunities

Many times, unexpected change brings unexpected opportunities. But you might miss them if you’re not looking for them. It’s understandable that you need time for the shock to wear off and to get through the grief. But if you start looking, you might find some fantastic opportunities – maybe the loss of a job will spur you into going into business for yourself, something you were afraid to do before. Or the sudden loss of a loved one might cause you to examine their legacy and might even inspire you to write their biography.

Unexpected change and sudden turmoil in life throw just about anyone for a loop. But with the right mindset, you can not only weather the storm – you can come out stronger.

Photo by kalavinka

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