New Articles from Divorce Solutions of Florida

Recalibrating Your Life

 

Are you “stuck”? It could be professionally, socially, personally, spiritually, or all four. Do you feel you need to move forward toward a goal or at least take the next step forward, but don't know the next move to take? Well, this is more common than you might think. If you are someone who wants more in your life, you are likely feeling frustrated on that first and best next step.

 There are times in our lives where we want to move forward, but just don't know how. Often this comes at a time of transition--empty nest syndrome, a divorce, loss of a job or desire to change careers, an illness or death in the family or just simply dissatisfaction or being in a rut. Here is one example:

 Rae Ann had done quite a lot in her life. She had reached many goals, earned two college degrees, worked in teaching, writing, public relations and then she married and had a daughter. For years, she also helped her husband in his business and it was successful, but in the meantime, she lost sight of her own goals and lost the momentum she had always known. Her marriage ended in divorce and then her daughter was off to college. She never knew exactly why, but she knew moving forward was not an option. In her late 40's, she had to get back out there and restart her career, maybe date and establish a new circle of friends, even get more involved in her community. She had to be more than she knew she was, but just felt “stuck”.

 One major reason for being stuck or what keeps someone from progressing is fear. “Fear” is primarily the reason for not moving forward. It involves failure to plan and act. Although life may not be perfect, basic needs are being met and who knows what change might bring? The thought is, “What if I change and things become even less satisfying than they are now?” You might be unhappy or at least less happy than you'd like to be, but at least it is life as you know it. It is your routine and in your (get ready), your comfort zone. You have a fear of getting out of your comfort zone.

The result of “fear” is procrastination. You don't move forward out of fear and it keeps you stagnant where you remain in a state of dissatisfaction which could last for the rest of your life and as you get older, you will regret that you didn't take that first step forward which likely would have led to the next step, and the next and a place where your hopes and dreams come true.

 There are four primary needs all of us experience throughout life. These are:

 -Certainty (To be certain of people, places and things, yet too much certainty can create boredom and ultimately unhappiness especially when a person feels like they want things to change, but don't act to change.)

 -Variety (The saying, “Variety is the Spice of Life,” is true. If a person does the same day in and day out, the variety need is not being met. If a person has no variety, there is clearly a need for change in whatever the area of life is involved—personal, social, professional, spiritual or a combination of the four.) Or maybe, there is too much variety and not enough certainty or significance.

 -Significance (We need to be significant in all areas of life. Feeling significant to family, friends and community, significant in the fact that our work is important, even significant spiritually in that we hold a belief in something and are helping others.)
-Love/Connection (The need to love, care and be connected to others including friends, family, partners and others.) 


Being aware of this, ask yourself, what needs are not being met in the way you want them to be. In order to move forward, you have to create a vision of what your needs are in any or all of the categories. Write each category down on a sheet of paper and list both the pros and cons in each category. What is positive and what is negative about the “Certainty” needs in your life? What is positive and what is negative about the “Variety” needs in your life” What is positive and what is negative about the “Significance” needs in your life? What is positive and what is negative about the “Love/Connection” needs in your life? 

 
Once you have done this, close your eyes and remember a time when you were satisfied in your life in each of the four categories. Take your time. Form mental pictures. These might fall into different times during your lifetime. Then write down the time when you were most satisfied in each of the categories if you were at all.

 Next, envision what would make you happy in each of the categories and write these down. This is your vision for your future. Got it all down on paper? Writing it makes it tangible.

 Now ask yourself, what do I need to do to make my “Vision” happen? Do this on another page. It might be taking a risk in “certainty” temporarily to become happier. It might mean expanding “variety” in your activities, your job, your personal relationships, your spiritual life to become happier. It might be finding ways to become more “significant” at home, with friends, with your job, your community, your spiritual life to become happier. It might mean taking a leap of faith to find greater satisfaction with caring and loving people in your life now or finding new "love/connections".

 Then finally on a third page and in columns, write down as many things as you can think of to achieve this vision in whatever categories are deficient. This is called “Recalibrating Your Life” which means simply making needed adjustments to achieve greater contentment.

 Then, each day, take even one small step toward your goals. You might say that you are basically comfortable in your life (certainty), but you need to get out of your comfort zone, risking what you have known for a period of your life for something even better. Or, you need to make your life more certain, and you can take these steps toward achieving your vision. Do the same with “variety," “significance” and "love/connections."

 The key is to move forward each day, even if it's baby steps. To help yourself, keep a journal for just this purpose and name it “Recalibrating my Life”. For each “tomorrow,” write down the things you will do to move forward in your categories and check them off when you've accomplished each step. On days you can't check off a particular step, move it to the next day.

 Remember, work to keep procrastination to a minimum. You will only achieve your “Needs and Dreams” by moving forward each and every day.

 

If you need help working through this process, I am here to help you reach your personal “Vision”.

 

Tonda Bian, DivorceSolutionsOfFloria.com



 


 

When Life Gives You Lemons
 
Life changes and major life challenges usually come with a high degree of stress and discomfort. The change or transition is always accompanied by anxiety or fear and the question is, “How will I get through this?” The transition can include issues relating to health, family/marriage, career, social or community life or just the feeling that some kind of change is imminent or necessary. Sometimes, we go through multiple experiences that can easily manifest as traumatic.
 


Sofie’s husband had just started medical school when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. They also had a child only a few months old. Expenses were formidable before her diagnosis, but after, they became what appeared insurmountable—living expenses, insurances, medical school tuition and child care to name a few. Sofie was supporting the family. Yet, with her illness, she might have to cut her full-time job to a part-time one or quit depending on her treatment protocol and the status of her health. Before the news, they had figured out how to manage financially and their lives were going fine in every way. Now, it was all one big question.
 
____________
 
After 25 years of what Ann thought was a good marriage, her husband asked for a divorce. She was in shock and didn’t know what to do first. The kids were grown, she hadn’t worked outside her home since their first child was born 22 years earlier. Her life revolved around her family, and after they left home, her husband was the center of her life. She had a few good friends, but other than that, her life was tied to his. She fell into a deep depression and didn’t know what to do. She became reclusive and spent most of her days watching television followed by restless nights.
 
Both of these stories are heavy duty situations, but in fact, what first appears to be a huge negative can be turned around primarily by three things: state of mind, a plan and most importantly-- action. Since life can turn on a dime, using these tools will help each person discover the possibilities when tackling challenges and reinventing life.
 
Certainly Sofie's and Ann’s sudden news came as a huge blow and the first step they needed to take was to fully experience their emotions. Both women had to let themselves work through their feelings rather than block them. At the same time, they needed to feel self compassion understanding that they had a right to be human in having highs and lows, but hold on to the fact that they could get through it.
 
During the early stages of change, it is important to avoid negative reinforcement such as viewing individual situations as disasters or insurmountable obstacles where the future seems bleak, that nothing could be worse. Instead, it is vital to look at the situation realistically and discover what good might come out of it all. Rather than feel unimpowered, each person needs to adopt a “State of Mind” that can serve growth. For Sofie and Ann, each needed to embrace their lives as they knew it in the present and then move on by clarifying and prioritizing the next steps to take. This can only happen by changing pessimism to optimism, believing in something bigger in life and that there is a reason for their current challenge, not thinking of it as a huge problem or trauma. It is believing that there will be a “Light at the End of the Tunnel”.
 
The good news is that through good advisors, both Sofie and Ann were able to move forward by surrounding themselves with good people. Sofie and her husband sought the opinions of a cross-section of medical professionals and decided to take an integrative route at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. They also secured a financial advisor to help them lay out a plan for their expenses and how they could manage their money. In the midst of this, they each worked with a Life Coach who helped them develop their priorities, set goals and an action plan as a synchronized effort. It gave them a sense of direction and that they were more in control of their future.
 
A friend of Ann’s also recommended a coach, but for her, the answer was a Personal Divorce Coach who would help her work through the issues of divorce and help her establish goals and a plan of action to move forward with her new life. Her coach also helped her find counsel for legal and financial direction and together, they discovered what professional interests Ann had and she began taking courses in a local community education program.
 
Both Sofie and Ann also decided on spiritual coaching: Sofie with a spiritual, faith-based coach, and Ann with her pastor. With the help of their advisors and coaches, they each found that a “Plan of Attack” helped them move forward realizing that their challenges could serve as gifts in disguise. Their plans also helped them feel empowered rather than helpless.
 
 
Their coaches helped them look at another highly valuable tool which is examining the four basic human needs which are: Certainty, Significance, Variety and Love/Connection and each person places more value on one or two more than the others. For Sofie, her need was to pursue “Certainty” more than anything at this point in her life. She needed to secure professionals and services that would help her feel good about making the best decisions for her health which also translated into “Certainty” for her family. She already had the “Love/Connection” and “Significance” with her family, friends and colleagues, and at this point, “Variety” (having fun and doing different activities) was the least of her priorities at least for the present time, but she and her husband would still take time for things they enjoyed doing as a family.
 
Ann discovered that “Certainty” was also her priority. Securing her financial future and how she would manage her life during divorce and post divorce would help her best make the transition. “Significance” was second. She knew she was no longer significant to her husband, but needed to make sure she was with her three children and would include them in the transition in as positive a way as possible. Her coach also guided her to reestablish relationships with any friends she felt would be supportive, stand by her and who would approach their friendship in a way that reflected Ann’s life change. She also expanded
her horizons and joined groups where she could meet new people and establish new friendships with both men and women socially and as a volunteer. Through her “Significance” actions, she was also addressing “Love/Connection” and “Variety” needs.
 
The bottom line in going through any kind of life challenge is to examine personal needs, wants and goals and find resources to meet them which means establishing a vision for the future and formulating a plan of attack to work toward that vision. Finally, no vision can become a reality without taking ACTION toward those new goals each and every day because action creates results and will change anyone’s life for the better.
 
Tonda Bian is a relationship and divorce coach and works with clients throughout the USA in person, by telephone and Skype communications.

 

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