How to Move On(wards and Upwards!)

Another Top Sante article, another BIG topic, and another request for coachy advice from yours truly very gratefully received! This article was published in the September 2011 issue of the magazine and was
entitled ‘How to Move on from Absolutely Anything’, a title I thought
particularly fitting for a blog named ‘Onwards and Upwards’, so I thought I’d share my unedited ideas on the subject for you lovely blog readers.

The subheading ran ‘A close bereavement, a broken relationship or a sudden redundancy – no matter how great the loss, you can get through it. Here’s how…’ (See what I mean?! There are BOOKS written on this stuff, and they still manage to cover the basics in 2 pages. You have to hand it to them!) With that rubric in mind, here’s my advice:

  • Take responsibility. It’s very easy to look around for someone or something to blame when disaster strikes, but ultimately that’s just a waste of energy and time, and it gives away your power (not to  mention your sense of being able to take charge of things). Even if someone else IS responsible for the situation you find yourself in, YOU are responsible for how YOU feel about it and what choices YOU make from that point on. Channel your energy away from negative feelings towards taking positive action to make the best move forward.
  • Give yourself some perspective. 2 clichés spring to mind here: ‘time is a great healer’ and ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. You probably know from experience that these are true, but it can be very difficult getting a sense of perspective when you are smack bang in the middle of a crisis. One way to see your situation through new eyes is to write yourself a letter from the future. Date it a year or more from now and write it as the successful future you. In it, tell the you that’s in crisis how different and wonderful your life is going to be and detail all the fantastic positive spin offs that happened as a result of this perceived calamity. Looking ‘back’ on your situation will boost your morale and remind you that happier times WILL be ahead. If that doesn’t appeal, another way to get a different perspective is to write a letter to a much-loved friend, imagining they’re in the same situation as you and giving your best advice and encouragement.
  • Allow yourself to feel rubbish for a while. I know this seems very un-coachy, but when bad stuff happens, it’s normal to feel upset, and putting yourself under more pressure to cheer up or put on a brave
    face sometimes adds to the hurt. Give yourself some grieving time when you allow yourself to cry, rant and rave. Vent your feelings to a close friend or in a journal. Also, give yourself the ‘Fluffy Slipper Camp’ treatment – this is the polar opposite of Boot Camp. Set aside an evening, day or weekend and spoil yourself with hot chocolate, your favourite DVD boxset and an early night or two. This is NOT the same as ‘wallowing in it’. Set yourself a date to come back out and join the rest of the world with a smile, but make sure you still allow some time every day to journal or talk through your sadder thoughts until they subside.
  • Take baby steps. When a crisis hits, the ‘to-do’ list it creates can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re reeling emotionally. Remember you don’t have to do it all in one go. Each day, take a small action towards rebuilding your life the way you want it to be. It could be as simple as looking at the jobs page in the local newspaper or  meeting up for a coffee with one of the mums from the school gate. Write down what you did – aim for one a day (however small) – and celebrate it. You’re paving the way to your new future!
  • Surround yourself with support. When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s great to enlist the help of a support group or online forum where you can meet lots of other people in the same boat. These kinds of support are wonderful in that they are specific to your problem so the others taking part have empathy and can sometimes mentor you through with ‘been there, done that’ good advice. They also give you the opportunity to support others, giving you the chance to get that change of perspective discussed above. A note of caution, however – don’t immerse yourself completely in that world or you could find yourself out of touch with everyone and everything else. Balance is key.

Do you need some extra support in moving on from something? Give me a call on 01903 244747 or drop me an email (claire(at)straightforwardcoaching(dot)com) and let’s have a chat to see whether coaching might help you.


How to Move On(wards and Upwards!) — 2 Comments

  1. Great post Claire. I really like the ‘giving yourself perspective’ suggestion of writing a letter to you from your future self a year on. I think I’ll try that next time a crisis hits.

    keep ’em coming. Looking forward to the next one already.
    Julie xx

  2. This is great Claire! I love your 3rd point about allowing yourself to feel rubbish! I have done that the last few years and given others the same advice! Glad to know I am on the right track!

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