A Positive Spin On Loss & TransitionOct 06, 2020
By Teresa Peters
The 30th September marks a very significant day.
1) It's my 45th birthday,
2) It’s 3 months since I became a non-drinker in order to become the best version of myself, and
3) It’s 2 years since mum said her last words to me.
I share this with you so that you all belatedly wish me well for my birthday (only joking!!!), that not drinking alcohol means that I write articles like this rather than downing a vino to celebrate, and also because I’d like to raise your awareness of the process of bereavement and how it mirrors the change curve. This change curve, otherwise known as the Kubler Ross curve, displays the 7 stages of grief. It can also be used to measure where we are and how we are feeling throughout the pandemic, or through any major transition in life. I use the change curve with many of my clients to help them see their business or life through a different lens.
MUM’S LAST WORDS
Two years ago, I rushed to see my mum at four o'clock in the morning knowing that it might be my last chance to see her alive. Mum lay in bed, with a smile, clearly and loudly remarking ‘Happy Birthday Tessa’. She signalled for me to pick her up, so, I held her against the care home’s wishes and looked out the window with her. She wasn’t to speak another word again and she slipped away two days later. A year later, in 2019, on my birthday, I felt great sadness. I'd gone through the first stages on the change curve in terms of anger and denial. But I was still unsure about how to climb out of this feeling that I had. I was still in-between.
Thanks to my awareness of the change curve, various coaching techniques and life experiences, with a topping of time to heal, I've now moved to new beginnings. Today, I embrace mum’s last words as a gift, a birthday gift so special that I feel blessed and extremely lucky. Time is a healer and also changing the way we feel and think about things can make all the difference in our lives. The human experiential model has also helped me to manage my feelings. However, that’s a model for another article!
THE PANDEMIC AND TRANSITION
In March of this year, our world was rocked for us all, both personally and professionally. The not-knowing-what-will-happen-next has left many of us with anxiety, as well as health and financial worries. We all go through the change curve at different stages. Some of us will jump straight into new beginnings without actually accepting the end of something properly. Others will stay stuck for a long time and not find new beginnings for months or even years. We all go through the various stages in our own way.
From a personal business perspective, we had to pause our publishing business immediately and lost revenues when we found out that we'd be in lockdown, and that hospitality was about to close. I saw this as an opportunity, by using my growth mindset and having access to great coaches, to grow my coaching business once and for all into a full-time successful business in its own right. Today, I can celebrate 6 months since I registered my limited company - Accelerator Coaching - and I'm pleased to say that I now look back with great smiles. I'm on to new beginnings with financial returns to meet lost income. I feel wonderful and positive, and with a knowledge that I can also help others and do something I'm so passionate about. It wasn't easy, though, pausing a business that my husband and I had worked hard at for 11 years, could have left me feeling angry and resentful, and I did have a couple of sad days. However, I've managed to look at it objectively by using the change curve to help me manage my feelings and emotions towards external events that are out of my control.
Enjoy reading some facts about the change curve below:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHANGE AND TRANSITION?
Change - is the external event or situation that takes place: closing a business, the pandemic restrictions, a new business strategy, a turn of management, the loss of a loved one, a merger or a new product. We focus on the desired outcome which is generally in response to external events. Change can happen very quickly.
Transition - is the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalise and come to terms with the new situation that the change brings about. Change can put people in crisis. The starting point for dealing with transition is not the outcome but the endings that people have in leaving the old situation behind.
This marks the starting point of transition and is not the overall outcome but the ending that people have to make to leave the old situation behind. People cannot move on until they’ve learned to let go. We need to acknowledge losses openly. Face reality by asking yourself: What if the opposite was true? How can I influence the areas that I can control? Find someone supportive to listen to you with empathy.
This is between the old reality and the new, and can feel uncomfortable. It is the area where anxiety rises and motivation falls. Although there is pressure too often to rush through this stage, it is important to step back and internalise. Consider: What are your top 5 values? What can’t you live without each day? What are your strengths? What are my quick wins so that I can create opportunities?
This is when the mind and heart begin to accept the new. There may still be ambivalence and apprehension, but we feel much more positive at this stage. Set S.M.A.R.T goals and plan for the future. Paint a picture of how your career will look and feel. Build some quick wins and seek out opportunities. You can email me for your free workbook.
To help make any change more manageable, you can use this exercise by simply finishing each statement with whatever comes into your mind.
The challenge I want to manage is…
The main obstacle is…
The others who are directing the change are…
The opportunity this change gives me is…
My desired result is…
What I don’t know about the change that I would like to know is…
What I like least about it is…
What I like most about it is…
WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING…
I’m getting a tattoo on my back whilst feeling very full after indulging in lots of cake with my hubby and 3 kids. How about you?
Feel free to reach out to me either on the email above or in The Community, I’d love to hear from you.
Teresa Peters is our resident Geordie Accelerator Coach! Do you find yourself driving through a thick fog because your personal life and business has become convoluted? As an ICF accredited Executive Coach and Personal Performance Coach, Teresa empowers you to find clarity, focus and transformation, both professionally and personally, using a solution- focused approach and DiSC profiling. She has 2 successful businesses – one as co-founder of a book publisher for the hospitality sector (which has had to pause during lockdown) and her main business – Accelerator Coaching .
Teresa offers a range of online and face to face support services to both male and female business owners and their teams. She finds great joy in working with couples and families who run businesses together, those making life changing decisions post redundancy or post hysterectomy who need a dynamic energetic champion and critical friend to unleash their full potential.
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