Unexpected illness, loss, a breakup … or perhaps you’ve received some unfavorable or surprising news…
These are moments when its natural to feel victimized by your circumstances. The utter surprise elements of life will truly cause you to believe that life is happening TO you (not FOR you).
In times like these, it is normal to feel shaken at your core. Your gut may be swirling with feelings of helplessness, guilt and you have endless amounts of questions…
What could I have done differently?
I knew I shouldn’t have ….
If I hadn’t done _____ then ______ … and now it’s too late.
What am I going to do if ….?
You know you need to be patient because your mind is not in the right place to act. You are overwhelmed.
And quite possibly overcome by your anxious thoughts about the immediate future.
The situation you’re dealing with is out of your control. And being patient is hard.
Especially if you are someone who likes to feel in control.
Life is taking its course.
While being patient is hard, learning how to respond vs. react to your life circumstances can be easy.
And it all starts in your mind.
You can control your mind.
In fact, it’s one of the only things you can actually control.
But it takes some training… and you have to get your “reps” in to build strength in transforming your mind out of constant “worry” contemplation and into peace.
And I’m going to show you how, by sharing 7 steps you can take action on right now that will help you get into a more peaceful state while you navigate life’s many “unknowns.”
7 steps to help you surrender to “the unknown”
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences. (source)
While our life circumstances are ever-changing, sometimes all we can do is surrender to the unknown in order to navigate uncertainty with more grace and ease.
Because being worried and stressed – is not serving you.
You must make this change for your own self but also for the people around you.
You can be resilient.
And these steps are a pathway to resiliency.
Step 1 : Take a moment to “Pause”
Make time to PAUSE to clear your mind. It is only with a clear mind that you will be able to SEE the reality of your situation – in its #truth.
Stop what you’re doing.
Step 2 : Breathe
When you direct your mind to focusing on your breath you will instantly feel more calm. Our breath is one of the few aspects of ourselves we can control – anytime, anywhere.
Try practicing 4-part breathing. This method of breathing has helped me so much over the years. Its helped me get better sleep by letting go of my thoughts. And it continues to help me navigate my anxious thoughts when it comes to parenting and making decisions for our family.
Here’s how you do it:
Inhale for 4 counts (while counting 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 in your head)
Pause (while counting 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 in your head)
Exhale for 4 counts (while counting 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 in your head)
Pause (while counting 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 in your head)
Repeat for 5 breaths
Allow the thoughts in your brain to drift away, like clouds passing in the sky.
This technique is powerful.
Try it right now and you’ll see.
Step 3 : Acknowledge what you can control.
Look around and observe.
What is within your control?
What is out of your control?
One thing you can always influence is yourself and your state of Being.
Are you worried? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Overcome with “what if’s?”
Let it all go.
Surrender the thoughts that are not serving your highest and best self.
Just – Let. Them. Go.
You can do it!
(and steps 1 & 2 will help you get here)
Step 4 : Consciously choose to change the state of your being.
You can choose to be sad or you can choose to be ________. How do you want to feel?
Would you like to feel positive? Neutral? Content? You always have a choice.
You can change your state of being in an INSTANT when you follow these steps from beginning to end.
Acknowledge what you can control.
Step 5 : Focus your mind.
Consider adding in Mantras to keep you in a more calm and neutral state of mind.
Here are some of my favorite that I have relied on for years:
I am good enough.
I let go of the things I cannot control.
All of my changes are easy to make.
I heal myself and my body on all levels.
I am safe and secure in my world.
I am worth loving.
I let go of the past with ease and I trust the process of life.
I release all negative energy.
I trust that this is occurring to serve my highest and best self.
I have unlimited potential.
I am enough exactly as I am right now.
Many of these mantras are ones I memorized at a very healing time in my life. They are from the book Inner Wisdom, Meditations for the Heart and Soul by Louise Hay.
Step 6 : Gratitude.
Gratitude is powerful. If you direct your attention to all the ways life is working FOR you vs. AGAINST you – you will quickly change your brain chemistry. Remember that what you focus on grows in power. And your thoughts become things.
So choose to think good thoughts as often as possible.
Tell your inner critic to quiet down.
Listening to the voice of disempowerment and negativity will only keep you feeling helpless.
Write or say out loud what you’re grateful for.
Here are some things I’m grateful for:
My two beautiful boys who cleaned up their toys today – on their own.
My handsome and helpful husband who put the kids to bed so that I could go to dance class.
Our helper that comes two days a week who did our laundry today.
Our house that has become our home.
My friends, especially the ones who encourage me on a daily basis
The list goes on…
Step 7 : Trust the process.
Reflect on your lowest points in life. Hasn’t there always been something positive that has come out of them? There will be an upside, you you may not be able to see it just yet.
Get curious and ASK.
How is life happening for me in this situation?
Sit with the question and allow the response to be revealed to you as you remain calm and in a state of receptivity. Listen. Perhaps you will be guided from within.
Trust the process, life is taking its course.
A final note : Remember, life is happening FOR you not TO you.
You are not a victim of your circumstances. You can rise above anything.
Sometimes things take time. And giving your situation “time” to work itself out may be what’s needed.
There are always positive things you will be able to take away from any experience.
And although you may not be able to see the positives now, it doesn’t mean they’re not there OR they’re not coming.
These life skills as summed up in my 7 steps above and – when practiced with diligence – will help you become masterful in controlling yourself and your mind. There is no skill more POWERFUL than this one.
Be patient with yourself.
And remember that: with darkness comes light.
Are you struggling with a difficult situation and are you trying to keep your peace?
As a certified coach, I can help you navigate the “unknown” – you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Here is what other people had to say about their experiences. ( ← click here) If you’d like to experience what working together would be like – send me a personal message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply back with some advice – right away.
Thank you to one of my inspiring friends, Kathryn Higgins, for helping me organize this blog post. Your friendship means the world to me.