Right now, we’re all connected by a shared experience that has shocked the world. And we flipped a switch that essentially shut off the economy.
All over the world, people have lost things—people have lost their lives, others have lost their jobs or their businesses. Opportunities have been lost, and plans have been rearranged or cancelled altogether. It’s been a hard year for everyone, and we’re only half way through.
The framework I’m sharing today has helped me to personally reconcile with some of this loss—and that’s the stages of grief.
The Stages of Grief
Grief is a daily battle, but I know that by allowing myself to fully experience the different stages of grief and then move on, I can keep my life moving forward. The goal is to make sure that I am living in that fifth stage—acceptance—by allowing myself to experience and move through the other stages. And once I’m in that fifth stage, it’s a daily concentrated effort to stay there.
I think that many can relate to this stage as it applies to the pandemic. When the news first broke, many of us were in shock. And in that shock, there was denial. In fact, some are still in this stage of grief.
And that’s natural—the world seemed to shut down. That’s a lot to deal with and accept. How can you wrap your head around it, when a day before the shutdown, life was business as usual? Especially if you don’t have firsthand experience with the virus.
After denial, there is anger. You’ve probably witnessed this, as well. People angry that they were forced to shut down their business, their livelihood. Angry that they’ve had to cancel vacations, and possibly without refund. I’m certain that there is anger you’re grappling with right now. Our lives have been turned upside down.
This is a situation with no shortage of things to be angry about—we’ve even become angry with one another, and social media is a hostile place right now.
This is the point at which we begin to bargain with ourselves and with others, including our government. We’ve all likely had conversations with ourselves where we rationalize our behavior and bargain with ourselves for our own sanity.
“It’s okay to do this because X, Y, and Z.” We tell ourselves this story over and over—we try and negotiate with our own brains. We contact our governing bodies and make bargains. This is the stage that we become desperate for normalcy.
Then, there’s depression. And we’re seeing it run rampant. People feel disconnected and lost, not only because they’re isolated, but because they’re experiencing extreme grief from the loss of their lives-as-usual.
I’m left speechless by the statistics of suicide hotlines, which have experienced a record number of calls. There will be people who lose their lives, and not because of the virus. We’re at a point in history where everyone is experiencing major loss at the same time—businesses, clients, friends, family, careers, etc.
After you’ve navigated the pitfalls of the other four stages, and the intense emotions that accompany, you reach acceptance. And this is how you move on.
I’ve managed to navigate my way to acceptance on a daily basis—because you’ll always have to process these intense emotions, but once you accept the reality of the situation, it becomes easier to face the day.
Some days, I wake up and I’m in that second stage. And rather than staying there, I work my way into that fifth stage. Because I have people who rely on me, and I’m no good to them—or even myself—when I’m like that.
Other days, I’m at a four. And I have to navigate my way to acceptance by lifting myself from the fog. In order to help the people I need to help, I must be firing on all cylinders. And so I use self-made techniques to pick myself up.
I acknowledge where I’m at each morning, rather than pushing it under the surface, so that I can deal with it before it impacts my ability to do what I need to do.
And I help others through this process as well, by seeing and understanding where they’re at on the scale. By listening to what they say and how they say it, I can pinpoint their mind frame. And then I do my best to help them navigate to acceptance. Often, all people need is a listening ear.
Whatever you must do to move through that process, it is well worth it. It starts with acknowledging where you’re at, and then releasing those emotions. Reaching acceptance doesn’t mean you won’t have to experience the other stages, but it does allow you to move forward with your life.
By shifting your thought in such a simple way, you can provide value to everyone you come into contact with—whether it’s your family, your customers, your coworkers, or your teammates. This tool has been helpful to me personally, and I hope that it can help you in return.
Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,
M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at https://www.yourownbankingsystem.com/
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