When I was thinking about the topic I wanted to write about today, I suddenly remembered a movie I have watched some years ago called „Sliding doors“. You might know it.
A woman is leaving her house in the morning to go to work, like every day. Everything seems normal till she arrived at work and had to learn that she is fired.
On her way home she had to take the underground train and from there the movie develops two different story lines:
In one scenario she has gotten on the train home just in time, just to find her boyfriend being at home with another woman. Can it get worse? She just lost her job and finds her boyfriend cheating on her. Her life crumbles in front of her eyes. She lost everything....or so she thought.
In the second scenario she has just missed the train home, arrived at home much later, her boyfriend still being there, but the woman, who has been there before with him, has left already and so she doesn't learn about the affair. She lost her job, ok, but she thinks she still has the support of her love. The story line continues from there.
I don't want to spoil the whole movie for you, just in case you would like to watch it one day. But I really did like the story. It is about change, about new beginnings that feel like terrible endings at first. It is about gaining, when you think you lose. It is about chances, opportunities and possibilities and that you cannot ever be certain in life.
Some people see this as a thrill, an adventure they take. But a lot of people are afraid of any change. They assume they live comfortably, all is set, they have forseen everything and everything is going according to plan. This feeling of safety and security can be comforting on one side. You think you have control over your life, things are as they should be.
But life happens and delivers situations that are beyond our control and be it just missing the train and all of your life plans change into another direction. Your heart sinks in that moment and you feel the loss in every cell of your body. You lose ground and all you can see is darkness, no future, no way out. You can't imagine, that things are going to change again from there and that one day you will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Take that time of grief for yourself. It is normal. Allow yourself to feel the pain. It won't stick forever.
Avoidance of any pain and long-term feeling of insecurity and uncertainty can lead to rumination, anxiety, racing negative thoughts and expectations that will be based on past experiences and the meaning we give to them. Your mind fears the unknown because it considers what you know already to be safer for you. Your imagination will come up with a list of potential things to fear about. And it's all created to keep you safe, away from danger.
So you either do nothing and keep still, thinking you can avoid any change by not moving. And you find yourself getting frustrated and unmotivated over time. You keep yourself in the golden cage, feeling empty and unsatisfied. Or you have plan A, B, C, D figured out and you still worry.... seemingly your life is under control, your future is under control and now you could relax, yet you can't.
Don't get me wrong, it is good to have coping strategies at hand and knowing what to do, when X doesn't lead to Y. But chances are Z might still happen, because;
Life is change.
It happens every day, every hour, every minute. Seasons change, the weather changes. There is no lifelong winter, no lifelong storm and rain. The sun shines through eventually and warms you with its light. And as often as you take an umbrella with you in case it might rain, as much you won't need it and you just carry it around as a burden for no reason. You can resist rain, yet it will rain, when it rains anyway and there is nothing you can do about it. The art is to deal with those uncertainties without suspecting catastrophies all over the place.
You can spend your time worrying about things you can control and worrying about things that are out of your control. Either way change will happen. So it might be about time to make peace with life. When you worry about things you could do something about, do something about them.
Could you change job?
Could you end this toxic relationship?
Could you find more passion and meaning for yourself?
Ask yourself: What is the worst, that could happen?
Write it down. You can be as dramatic as you can get.
Check, how realistic this worst outcome really is.
What evidence do you have for it to happen?
How possible is it this will happen in the future, even if it happened in the past?
What are your negative beliefs around it?
As you understand that your mind wants to keep you in the safety zone, you can claim your own power back and explore alternatives and options. You can then start thinking about the positives that may happen if you make that change. You can start to focus on the good that will come instead of what "might" go wrong. Make it a game and dream big.
Be comfortable and close your eyes. As you sit still and calm you can begin to imagine the BEST possible outcome. Imagine yourself being courageous and going for that change you want. Experience yourself doing the things you do to achieve that goal.
See, hear and feel yourself how you are moving forward, how you are gaining strength along the way, how you succeed and how you enjoy. Let it come to life in your mind's eye and feel the shift in your whole body.
You can learn, that change can mean you losing something old along the way, that might have been useful for a time, but you might not need it anymore. Explore what you can gain, chances, opportunites, new people, new jobs, new relationships. Accept all of it, be curious and open, see what happens...
...which brings me back to the movie.
At the point, where everything looked like she lost it all, she took her time for grieving her loss. But as time went on she began to explore herself and discovered new possibilites, that made her life worth living again. Nothing seemed to be under control at that time, everything was uncertain and in the open. As she began to accept, she began to take back control. She created her life aligned with herself, gaining so much more out of her loss, than she ever could have imagined before. Her seasons changed, her winter ended and spring grew flowers and light.
To your courage embracing change and making peace with the uncertainties of life!