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It’s not uncommon to ask the question, ‘why me?’ when things we deem to be challenges or losses occur in our lives. On the other hand, it isn’t often you hear a lottery winner, someone who has just received a job promotion or a clean bill of health ask ‘why me?’ When “good” things happen we typically accept them, sometimes express gratitude for them and go on with our day. However, when life gives us a hand of cards we would never choose to have to play, we tend to wonder why this is happening to us. I know from experience it is natural and understandable to pose this question.

Certainly, being married to a wonderful man like my late husband and then being faced with his loss dropped me right into a bucket full of ‘why me’ from time to time. And I found the distance between ‘why me’ and ‘poor me’ was a very short walk. I eventually had to face the reality that poor me wasn’t going bring Gary back and it wasn’t going to help me recreate an inspired life.

The experience of ‘why me’ can occur when it becomes a repeating loop that plays over and over in your life. Label Warning: the energy in one area of your life can be considered contagious. If you get stuck feeling the victim in your relationship, your career or your health, for example, then you may begin to see it populating other areas of your life. It becomes your automatic way of responding. Your car breaks down…why me. Someone else gets a job you felt you deserved…why me.

Instead, begin replacing ‘why me’ with what’s next. I lost my husband. What’s next? What do I choose to make of this experience? I first had to set myself on a path of doing the work to heal emotionally and grieve. Once I created a program and lined up the resources to manage this aspect, I could open myself up and ask what’s next for me in my life. If I am no longer Gary’s wife than who am I and what kind of life do I want to create for myself?

Something happened that changed life as you knew it forever. To overcome a challenge or loss you will need to be willing to spend some time putting yourself first. This doesn’t mean abandoning your responsibilities. But it does mean taking time to prioritize your life so you can get some tools and resources in place to support you and come up with an action plan for working through the changes.

When a significant change occurs, whether by choice or circumstance, there will be aspects to the situation or event that need attention. If it is a medical condition, you will need a team of doctors and health care professionals plus your personal support team.

“What’s Next” is about taking this opportunity to get to know yourself, identify core values, reset priorities so they are in alignment with what matters most to you and make a plan for the future that inspires you into forward action motivated by your passion for your goals. No matter what life-changing situation has occurred there is a way to move past ‘why me’ and build a conscious ‘what’s next’ that empowers you. The life I have created is the best evidence I can offer that the what’s next approach works.

I was able to manage the practical challenges and details being widowed generated AND I was able to recreate a life full of passion, meaning and purpose.

So allow yourself your ‘why me’ moments and then find the courage to transform the question into ‘what’s next.’ This is what turns challenges into incredible possibilities. I dare you…and I believe if you dare yourself you will be amazed at what you can create.

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