And isn’t it even worse when you know that you are doing it. You are so stuck in this whirl of anger that you can not find the oomph needed to start brainstorming new options, or just figure out how to get things working well again. It is like the creative bit that allows you to be innovative is completely stormed by the raw angry bit and you know it.
Despite your best efforts to reactivate your normal adaptive mechanisms your best self just won’t come quick enough. You can see that opportunities could be created, but they just won’t come. So now there are two frustrations, the first related to the actual change and the second related to your reaction to it.
However, these emotions are part of us. We are designed to react to things that happen. Our flight or fight sensors are ever present and it takes time to ride these out and then figure out how to respond appropriately. Sometimes we need to give ourselves that time and be a little compassionate with ourselves for being human.
There are things that we can do. Talking it through with others, even being able to safely vent can assist, though we need to be cautious not to escalate things by venting to those who are supporting the change, as often that can just end up in a debate. Getting some space, physical or mental or ideally both often makes a big difference. Meditation or relaxation, a break away or even just a short burst of exercise can all help.
The objective is to create a gap in which to reorientate. In sailing it is referred to as finding the clear air, where the breeze is steady and consistent and a crew is not constantly reacting to wind shifts. The idea is to use this place to see things differently, reframe the problem and start adjusting to what this new reality will mean. Ideally to find the opportunities that it may contain.
The fear is that we don’t find the clear air needed to realign to our new reality. That our energy is so focused on being angry, or scared, or even just lost that we can’t use our capacity to start replanning or adjusting. In this space we may need help.
That help could come from coaching or an employee assistance programme. It may come from our own social network or even other professional services. In fact personal support networks can play a big part in our feeling secure enough to risk taking on a change.
While ideally we would be infinitely adaptive and do so in the flick of an eyelid, the reality is it does take time to change. But more often than not we do adapt and knowing that we have adapted in the past and will again in the future is of its self encouraging. So finding some space and being gentle when ours or others assimilation of a new reality is not quite as instant as we would like is part of trusting ourselves and others to get to the other side.