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How to respond to shocking news

When the doctor told me I had chronic kidney disease it was a total shock. It marked the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life. It was news that changed my life forever.

How do you plan for such occasions? The answer is you don’t because you can’t. It’s a bit like saying you must plan for a giant meteorite hitting planet earth.

So, when you are suddenly confronted by a shocking change of events, how can you get through that shock and move forward successfully?

Well first, let the news sink in. Don’t panic. Remind yourself that life will go on even if it may look and feel different going forward. Have you ever lost a wallet or your keys and then immediately gone into panic mode? You can run around like a headless chicken hysterically stressing over not being able to find that item. Instead you can just stay calm and relax knowing that you will more than likely find the item. In fact I’ve found I’m more likely to find lost items quickly by NOT panicking. And, if you don’t, will it mark the end of the world? Of course not.

Second, don’t fight it. It’s the reality, so don’t waste your time and effort wrestling with the news as if you’re going to be able to change what is now in the past. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you have cancer. If you’ve been fired, you’re fired.

Third, remember that you have a choice to either allow yourself to go into victim mode: “Woe is me”, “God didn’t help me with this”, “It’s ‘their’ fault”. In this kind of scenario finding fault is irrelevant. Fault has nothing to do with it. Your responsibility is in how well you respond to this new scenario.

Fourth, remember that there will inevitably be something positive inherent within the disaster. You lost your home to fire? You can find a better one. You got fired? You can look for a better job than you had before. Maybe you were ready to leave your house and find somewhere better anyway. Maybe in truth you were miserable in your job and only staying in it for financial security.

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