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Is There Hope When You Feel Like You Are Living in Chaos?
Financial problems, unemployment, economic cycles, relationship problems or losses might be surrounding you. Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you invest most of your time and energy into worrying? How are you dealing with negative emotions? When you are feeling scared, out of control or helpless, do you know how to problem-solve and experience a sense of adventure despite the problems?
There are several steps your can take to gain control and move from chaos into adventure (instead of nightmare mode):
1. Face the fact that you are having some problems. Admit to yourself that you are spending more than you earn. Open the envelope that came in the mail from your mutual fund advisor. Accept the fact that your relationships are starving from neglect. Recognize that you are drinking or work too hard to avoid certain things.
2. Determine EXACTLY what the problems are in your life. Bankruptcy is NOT a problem as much as it is a result of spending too much money. Divorce is the result of an unsatisfactory relationship. Unemployment may be a result of not having the skills, presentation or contacts that you need. Write a list of all of the "problems" that you are facing at this time (you will likely be surprised to find that there are less than six items on the list).
3. Determine what things you can do without outside help. You might need to make an apology, update your resume or attend a networking meeting.
4. Begin researching resources that can help you to learn and develop. Check for courses at your local college. Search government programs that offer free or low-cost legal or financial support. Review your Employee Assistance benefits to determine how you can obtain company-paid therapy sessions.
5. Develop a clear plan. Take a piece of paper and draw two vertical lines so that you have three columns on the page. In the left-hand column, clearly but briefly write down the "problem". In the middle column, write down the steps or things that you need to do to improve the situation. In the right-hand column list the tasks that you can do or places that you can contact to begin the process. For example: Column A might state "Financial problems". Column B might state: "Learn strategies to deal with debt, Earn more income, Consolidate with a Bank". Column C might include "Meet with a financial planner, ask employer for overtime hours, book an appointment with my bank".
6. Begin immediately. You don't have to do everything in one day but it is important that you do AT LEAST one thing a day.
7. Understand that your attitude is very important. You can make more progress with a slogan of "Yes We Can" than "Things will never improve". (Just ask Obama about the power of hope in motivating people who are suffering).
8. Celebrate every day of your life. Having a sense of adventure stirs your soul and helps you to understand that each experience and moment holds promise.
9. Review your progress every week. Schedule a half-hour appointment with yourself at the same time each week when you can update your plan.
You can take your life from a position of chaos to a wonderful experience of adventure by determining that you will have a good attitude, make a plan, and take action to solve your problems.
About the Author
Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...