Dealing with change in an uncertain world

Dealing with change in an uncertain world

Joanne Phoenix makes some suggestions that may help people make the change they need to live the life they really want.

As humans, we like the certainty of the things we know. We become uncomfortable when things change or become different from what we are used to. However, the whole world has changed since 2020 and, thanks to advances in technology, the pace of change is unlikely to slow.

Like most people I have experienced some big changes in my life over the past few years. However, unlike some people, I chose to make these changes.

My life was steady for a long time: a relationship of 25 years’ duration, the same job for 15 years and living in the same house for 10 years. Then one day I realised I’d outgrown my circumstances. So, I threw myself headlong into change and left all three of those things. I chose to go travelling abroad to explore new experiences and different ways of thinking.

Often people know that they need to make changes in their lives but they get stuck in a rut and just hope things will get better. Which of course, they don’t! I had known for about three years that I was living a life that did not align with what I truly wanted to do and have had personal experience of all the fears that come with the need to make changes. So, I appreciate how scary it can be. It was facing those fears that prompted me to do my coaching diploma which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation and learn all about change, how we react to it and how we can deal with it.

Be present

How do we go about making the choice to change? The first and possibly the most important step is to become present. Being present can look different for everybody. Some people may believe that means they need to start meditating. I am often told by clients that they can’t meditate because they’re unable to shut off their mind. Meditation isn’t about that, rather it’s about becoming present. It’s about taking time out from the doing and being of everyday life. 

Some might achieve that by going running, for others they may need to swim. For some, it might just be a question of sitting quietly. There are also apps to help such as Calm. However you do it, it’s about stopping and staying in the here and now. 

Although it can be quite a scary thing to do, by becoming present, you come face-to-face with the truth of your circumstances. When I first started meditating I could see my emotions were in total chaos. I realised that was the reason my life was so chaotic on the outside. 

Take time to take stock

Once you are able to become present, it’s time to take stock and ground yourself. Take a look at all the facts around you. This is often something we are reluctant to do as we’d prefer to run away from things than acknowledge what’s really happening. It’s easier to stick with the devil we know.

For example, life in NHS dentistry gets harder all the time. Most dentists and their teams in the NHS want to be able to offer great care to their patients. Some may have been offering NHS dentistry for a long time and have a passionate belief in the ethos of the NHS. However, by grounding themselves they will be forced to take a realistic look at their circumstances which may mean facing the fact that, although they believe in the NHS, it doesn’t allow them to give their patients the service they would like. Or they may see that having an NHS contract does not work for their practice any longer. 

These may be difficult conclusions to bear. However, it’s important to reach a state where you fully accept your circumstances and how you feel about them. You may want to look at your finances and perhaps seek the help of a business advisor or just talk to somebody about things. Research what you might want to do so you’re armed with all the information you need and face up to your current reality. In a similar way to someone who has unopened bills stacking up. Open those letters and face the truth of your current lot, rather than continue to live in a state of denial.

Find support

Finding a mentor can be a great help when trying to work out the best way to move forward. Talking things through with a trusted third party can help give a different perspective. Fresh eyes on a topic can throw up ideas and suggestions you may not have considered before. As the Chinese proverb says: ‘A spectator sees more than a player in the heat of a game.’

Mentorship can be found in numerous different places. A mentor can be someone familiar with your type of situation or a person who has already been through the same things you’re experiencing. They might be a trusted colleague, a friend, a family member or a professional expert. 

Often when I’m in practices I am able to make observations or suggestions for improvement. Because I have been viewing things from a different perspective, I see them differently and can spot other possibilities or solutions. A mentor can fulfil the same function for you whether you need help as an individual or for your business. You may even find you benefit from speaking to more than one person. You can seek mentorship from as many people as you feel you need. And, as a member of a dental team you can get access to a list of mentors by visiting the Dental Mentors UK website.

Change is scary but if you aren’t living the life you feel you deserve to live, then it’s the only solution.

If you’re considering your options away from the NHS and are looking for a provider who will hold your hand through the process whilst moving at a pace that’s right for you, why not start the conversation with Practice Plan on 01691 684165 or book your one-to-one NHS to private call today:

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