By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Content Agency
Q. This year is starting out with nothing but storms. We are being bought by a different company, no one knows if they have a job, and all our roles will change. Most of us are losing our minds! You always have excellent ideas about stress and change. How can we handle all this chaos that we can't even control?
A. You can handle all this chaos by understanding that storms bring loss but they also bring positive change. You have to do a two-step boogie to thrive. Your first step is to grieve your past; your next step is to let the storm teach you to become a skilled swimmer.
The business world is changing at such a furious pace that swimming in storms will become an essential talent. You can hold our breath and wait for the storms to go away, but that is unlikely. And you'll also end up losing out on interesting places you would go if you learned to swim during the chaos.
Many of your coworkers may become so overwhelmed that they just freeze up. If you can keep your wits during chaotic times, you may be the only person who is able to keep moving and seize opportunities.
Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, hypothesized that we all have two selves: the lower-case "self" and the upper-case "Self." Jung believed that the "self" is connected to the ego or worldly identity, and that the "Self" is the same as one's soul.
When storms at work threaten to drown us, they often do cause us to lose our little minds, but we have an opportunity for an introduction to our "Self." Sometimes our little minds have to get overwhelmed for us to realize we truly are much more than we previously thought.
Many of my clients during times of extreme change are rather like snakes that have shed their skin but are desperately trying to put that old skin back on. You can see that this simply isn't going to work out for anyone!
Now, I can't prove to you in a 600-word column that the universe is run by a benevolent intelligence that wants to you grow. I can point out that even Einstein thought "God doesn't play dice with the universe." Ask yourself how you would respond to your current circumstances if you believed you were being challenged to expand your old self-definition.
What if there is something out there that loves you and there is an order to all the events around you that you think are random? What opportunities might you see and seize if you had this mindset?
Of course, we could debate religious or spiritual theories all day and still end up humbled by the mystery of what is really happening on planet Earth. I am simply proposing that, whatever your spiritual beliefs may be, you will be more resilient and successful if you try on the idea that the universe is your friend not your foe.
As storms rage around you, your little mind is not where you will find sanity or solutions. Be open to the idea that your workplace storm is making way for you to finally meet your "Self."
The last word(s)
Q. I have a huge crush on a coworker and want to know if, with Valentine's Day coming up, I should ask her out? I only meet people at work. Is there really that much of a downside with workplace romances?
A. Yes. Ask yourself, if the relationship turns ugly, is it worth the risk? You might find it easier to expand your social connections for Valentine's Day than to look for a new job due to a bad romance.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
Printed in the February 19, 2017 - March 4, 2017 edition.