>> 16 February 2011
One day you are full of energy, enthusiasm and creativity to set up a new project, a business, a new piece of art and the next day you are thrown back by something like:
- creative block: you can't seem to 'find' the next chapter of your book
- lack of inspiration: you want to paint but have no idea what
- negative criticism: people judge your work badly which makes you angry and want to stop
- a change of plan: what you had in mind is not possible for some reason and it puts you to a halt
You loose your drive (or your pitch). Your dream is shattered. Well, yes, it's like your idea just died.
Elisabeth Kübler Ross was a Swiss psychiatrist/researcher who did a lot of work on the process of grief for which she identified five stages.
Although her research was based on dealing with a terminal illness or fatal loss, there is also a business significance as people seem to go through similar stages when faced with changes in their personal and professional lives.
- Denial: "This is not happening!"
- Anger: "This is not fair!" "Why me?"
- Bargaining: "Just give me more time." "How can I get this to work my way anyway?"
- Depression: "What's the point?" "No one likes my idea." "I might as well give up."
- Acceptance: "It's not so bad." "I can find a way out of this."
You have asked your partner to take out the trash last night. The next morning when you get ready to drive to work you notice he/she hasn't.
- I can't believe this! This can't be true!
- It's always the same. Every time I ask and he doesn't do it. I have to do everything here!
- I'm not going to do it either. That will teach him.
- There will be garbage piling up if the trash is not taken away today. Why did I ever marry this guy?
- Well, it's no big thing really. I can do it now; it won't take long. And I will tell him later that it really bothers me.
I recently had one thrown at me hard. And I kept alternating between anger, bargaining and depression. I couldn't seem to get beyond that.
Then I remembered a thing my coach had said to me some years ago:
I stopped and looked within.
I had planted a seed and wanted a flower to sprout right away.
But of course, the first thing that comes up is the dirt. Only then can a little green leaf poke its head above the earth.
So next time you have a curve ball thrown at you, go within, clear the dirt and grow:
- write that chapter
- paint...anything, just paint
- get some positive feedback to counterbalance but also analyze the negative (there might be something to learn there)
- change your plan, make it even better, different
So, what is happening FOR you right now?