How Are You “Dealing” With the Changes in Your Life?

by on January 19, 2011

How Are You “Dealing” With the Changes in Your Life?

While we may all react differently to change and have different perspectives on it, an item that is constant about it for all is that it is a process.  An analogy of that process is to compare it to a deck of cards being dealt.  In most every game where cards are dealt there are four distinct stages of the process.  They are:

  1. The Shuffle of the Cards
  2. The Deal of the Cards
  3. Playing the Hand You are Dealt
  4. Tossing In so the Next Game Can Begin

This model is true in all aspects of our life.  At any given time we can be in one stage in one of the changes happening in our life, and in another for a different change.  We may spend a great deal of time in each stage on certain changes, and a small bit of time in the same stage on another type of change.  However, there are definitely characteristics of each stage of which we should be aware.  Obtaining awareness of this process to change can alter our perspective of it and equip us better to manage our emotions and energy as we go through the changes in our lives.  The following provides a perspective of what is experienced in each phase.

The shuffle is a “time-out” phase in the process.  We are usually detached in our emotions and often are healing from a previous toss in or searching for a new direction.  It always takes a previous ending or closure to begin a new cycle.  While going through this stage you very well may be taking stock of your life, reviewing what is really important to you and deciding which way to turn.  As you are moving to the end of the shuffle you have a plan to grow, new strength and a new feeling of purpose and hope.  One likely will experience some fear of the unknown and be at a moderate level for taking action.  Much actual action is on researching, exploring or networking before firmly moving forward.

The deal phase is when action truly begins.  One is more willing to experiment and implement the plan and strategy that was developed during the shuffle stage.  During the deal stage one is optimistic and more confident than they are in any of the four stages of the process.  Early in the deal phase one tends to want to do things “one step at a time”.  There is reluctance to make long term commitments.  As the deal stage moves further along and trust in oneself grows, a firm commitment is then made.  The deal stage is one of looking to make something happen.  There is a reaching out to take action, selecting others with which to participate and establishing new expectations.  While there is much excitement and anticipation there is also a fear of failure or success.

The “playing the hand” phase is usually a positive time for the individual as they look to implement their plan.  It is a phase associated with success but can also be one of disappointments, setbacks and new challenges.  There can be periods of overwhelm or confusion of what to do next.  Feelings can range from feeling inadequate to handle what is at hand to a sense of fulfillment, peace and purpose.  The action one takes is based on the amount of positive energy, clarity and support they have that their plan is working as expected.

In life, all things come to an end.  Those endings could be considered failures or successes, but they are definite endings.  When reaching this point one is at the “toss in” phase, a place where many people are rarely ready when it happens.  Whether it is the end of a job, relationship, living arrangement or project that one loved, often there is unhappiness if no thought has been previously given to the future.  Often when the end comes suddenly very little action is taken.  Many times there is a fear of change.  Other times there is a possible lack of hope.  At the end of the toss in phase one may enter a state of hibernation or cocooning, before being ready to move on to the next phase.   When one is ready, the toss in phase ends, and one is ready to enter the cycle all over again with a new shuffle.   However, this is something that the individual can only determine for themselves as the right time to start over again.

Shuffle, deal, playing the hand and tossing in are phases we all continue to go through each and every day of our life.  They can be painful at times, exhilarating at others but they are a natural part of life.  Sharpening your awareness to their existence will help you to navigate the changes that come into your life as they occur.

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