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Everything is Changing: How to Deal With Uncertainty in Life

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I am a big fan of Spotify weekly suggestions. Somehow, a clever algorithm conveniently picks the best tunes out of its massive collection for my enjoyment. Combined with a cup of freshly ground coffee, this is my Monday morning success recipe.

The issue is that sometimes the app is insistent on adding songs that I dislike right off the bat only to find myself loving the same song a few days later. A quickly found scientific explanation suggested an answer – the human brain enjoys familiarity. A trick that is known to radio DJs is to sandwich new style songs with old ones to prevent a drop off in listeners. 

Instead of playing a new song by itself, they would introduce it gradually in-between well known and loved hits. Starting once every ten popular songs, they will increase the frequency until the unknown stranger becomes a cool tune everybody likes.

I am familiar with a resistance to change from other areas of my life. For instance, up until recently, I never had luck with standing desks in the office. I tried them a couple of times, confirming my theory that some people like weird things. That was until I had a lower back injury from the gym. My body demanded to be parked in two preferred positions – horizontal and vertical. Since lying on an office floor was not an option, I gave the oddity a second chance. Guess what – I loved it. Little by little standing desks became a norm – I am writing this using a kitchen counter of my apartment.

Looking back on my life experiences, this skepticism and reluctance was pervasive. I was surprised that people loved avocados, scared of going to Latin America because of my father’s civil conflicts stories from the 70s, hosting couch surfers thinking that I may get robbed – and the list goes on. All of these turned out to be untrue – guacamole is now my favorite dip, my trip to Colombia blew my mind and I met amazing people by opening my house to travelers. If this was a best friend and not my brain playing tricks on me, we would be having a hard conversation by now.

During my masters at the University of Sydney, I took an innovation course where a passionate lecturer showed us an adoption curve for new inventions. When a new piece of technology comes to the market, it is riddled with bugs. There comes a first wave of users who love the challenge of finding those faults and helping to make the product better. It is a small number that do it out of curiosity and a pioneer badge. The percentage of early adopters is only 13.5%. The 70% majority is waiting behind as not everyone wants to put in time and mostly unpaid effort unto testing often half-baked products.

The curve made sense from the innovation perspective but this reluctance to change, locks us out of opportunity to experience the good from the supermarket of life forcing the majority to a tiny corner shop close to a safe home. This has another negative side to it. Perceived pillars of stability that we cling onto in life are an illusion. Companies go bankrupt, marriages fail, governments disintegrate. The change will inevitably be forced on us whether we want it or not. 

The brain’s proclivity for negative bias is well researched with some belief that this is an evolutionary survival mechanism. Perhaps early humans attracted to brightly colored poisonous berries were the first to go. Skeptically inclined people lived to see another day while eating potatoes and muttering “better safe than sorry.” This made sense thousands of years ago but we are out of caves and stone arrows. Dealing with the change in a logical way is a necessity of a modern day. Thankfully the same brain that creates anxiety about new experiences can beat evolutionary fears and help us to embrace change like a surfer embraces a wild wave.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore 

1. Make it positive

Become an ally with the negative know-it-all voice in your head and teach it new encouraging things to say. Using reframing we can create focus on a positive aspect of a change. 

For example, if you are asked to work from home during a pandemic, it will suck not to have social interactions in the office. But since there is no lengthy commute, you can work on your personal projects, clean your house or learn a new skill. Doesn’t it make you excited about the idea? You can speak with people using videoconferencing to deal with social isolation. Yes, it is not the same but at least you won’t have to sit in a meeting with Bob’s potent breath.

2. Shed light on ambiguity

Changes or new adventures are associated with a fear of the unknown. Make the unknown known and deal with real issues rather than an ambiguous – “it’s all bad and scary.”

For instance, before traveling to a new country, you can research the safest places to go to, take precautions like carrying a mobile phone with a local sim card, and travel with a large group. Ask yourself a question, “What does this change mean for me?” Consider only objective and specific answers.

3. Do not be a passenger 

Human beings are highly adaptable species – we have lived in caves, jungles, and freezing cold forests. When the new change occurs, it will be uncomfortable in the beginning but little by little you will get used to it. It is important to be proactive. Stay on the front foot by engaging with sources of change, understanding the details and more importantly learn and experience from it. Changes are the source of personal development and growth. 

Remember that when you are saying “no” you are potentially walking away from an opportunity to become a better person.

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

4. Speak with someone

It may be stressful and challenging and you do not have to do it alone. I am certain that you have someone in your life that cares about you. Speak to them, share how you feel and seek for advice. Do not forget to return a favor when they need you to help – relationships are a two-way street.

5. Change gears

The amount of change can be overwhelming. In the organizational context, there is a term “change fatigue” and good leaders are aware of making too many changes at once. While change is a positive experience, we need to alternative between periods of change and stability.

This is similar to your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The former controls rest and recovery with the latter being responsible for flight and fight. These FF-RR cycles are crucial to dealing with changes like a pro. Even the strongest athletes need time to recharge. Use quiet periods between changes to reflect on gained experience and integrate the learnings.

In the words of a philosopher Alan Watts, “the universe is a continuously changing flow of energy and trying to cling to it is akin to walking in a pool.” You have to swim to go places in this world. Being able to deal with constantly changing circumstances is becoming an athlete swimmer in the Olympics of life.

How do you deal with change? Is it tough for you? Share your thoughts with us below!

Jay Martynov is a technology manager and a life coach helping busy professionals and business owners to manage stress and build a happy life filled with purpose. His coaching includes understanding of behavioral patterns using enneagram, effective daily routines and meditation. You can find more details on Jay’s website www.jaymartynov.com and https://www.instagram.com/jaymartynov/.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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