Interpersonal EDGE: Losing your Mind? Get a New One!
Friday, January 29, 2010

By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Media Services

Q. In the last year, I've started a new career, gotten married and started therapy - and there are days I think I'm losing my mind. I'm looking at the world through completely different eyes. How do you keep your balance when you're going through intense change professionally and personally?

A. There is a humorist who quipped, "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." The truth is, there are times when you have to lose your old mind to find a new one.

Take comfort in the fact that this last year has been tumultuous personally and professionally for many people all over our nation. I've never received so many letters from readers who are experiencing profound career and personal change.

Most of us enjoy routine. The way we make our coffee in the morning, the way we drive to work, and smaller details ... like, say, who we think we are.

Then, slam, life happens. Our industry becomes obsolete. Our spouse has an affair. We get laid off from a job we've had for twenty years. Just like that - we lose all sense of magnetic north.

The good news is we are now forced to reexamine everything. We've all heard spiritual teachings that encourage us to be in the moment. When we lose our compass, we are thrown into the moment because our past and future can't help us.

Like the television hero MacGyver, we look around at any resources that can help us in the middle of our crisis. Suddenly that duct tape you've been ignoring has a million uses. We look at everything and everyone with new eyes as we struggle to create a new magnetic north.

An unexpected gift of profound change is we are introduced to ourselves in new ways. We find out we're more creative, braver and wiser than we thought we were. We learn that we are not dependent on a spouse, a career title, or an industry to define ourselves. We get invigorated as we find out that many aspects of our former comfy routine were as much of a prison as they were a teddy bear.

Few of us are adrenaline junkies who enjoy bungee jumping and complete redefinition of our lives. Most of us have changed forced upon us when we aren't looking. But, all of us, have the capacity to use the window the unexpected affords us to become more than we were before.


Q. I've got a coworker who is constantly correcting everyone. He thinks he's perfect and that the rest of us are idiots. What's the best approach with him?

A. Realize that most people intuitively known it's the emptiest drum that sounds the loudest.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker. You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.



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