3 Things to Transform Crisis into Opportunity

Published on August 31, 2015

Sometimes things have to fall apart. We are trained , for the most part however, to look at crisis as a negative thing – a time that is filled with pain, loss and much suffering. Yet I wonder if this sort of thinking is serving us. What would happen if we were to look at the ‘crisis’ we are faced with as an opportunity instead? Is it possible that sometimes things have to fall apart in order for us to rebuild a better model of life for ourselves?

”The wound is the place where light enters you” – Rumi

In therapy, I often see clients who feel they are faced with a really tough challenge or life crisis. This could be in the form of a relationship, work-related,  financial or health issue as a few examples. I work with them to re-frame this time of stress into an platform for self-discovery and growth ; a blessing which will allow them to re-build a happier and more authentic life in the chapter ahead.

We desperately try to restore order to our lives, as chaos seems to prevail. Yet, if we learn to reframe how we see crisis, we might actually take advantage of it. There is the potential for alchemy as the crisis unfolds into a gain, provided we learn to stop resisting the unwanted change.” – Mel Schwartz  in Turning Crisis into Opportunity for Psychology Today, 2011

Here are my top 3 tips on how to transform your crisis into an opportunity for growth and self-empowerment :

1) Learn to Let Go with Grace : Letting go is all about perspective. What perspective would help you feel more empowered in embracing this time of loss or change? The cyclical nature of life means that loss will inevitably be a part of our experience, so I personally like to think of loss as the perfect way to make space for the new. Sometimes the forest has to burn to the ground to make way for new growth – sometimes things have to fall apart so that we can rebuild again. Instead of fighting against the change or holding on with desperation to the past, can you begin to see this time also as a blessing? Is it possible that as painful or uncomfortable as these changes are, that they are allowing you to let go of that which was not serving you so that you can move into a future space that actually does?

2) Be Present with the Process : Human beings tend to be wired to avoid pain at all costs. If you reflect on your life to date and times of challenge /crisis in the past – what were some of the ways in which you dealt with them? Did you stay and make sense of what was happening – or engage in activities to numb out/escape from your discomfort? I’m not saying that when things are tough you need to become entangled in a destructive cycle of self-pity or powerlessness, but it is important to acknowledge that this is time of challenge and be as kind to yourself with this process as you can. Be gentle with yourself the way a kind friend would be if you told them about your struggles and open your eyes up to what this time is showing you – what are you discovering about how you handle loss? What about that last chapter really wasn’t working for you? What are you looking forward to changing in the next chapter? The key is to move mindfully as you don’t want to just re-create more of the same with this new opportunity ( *for more on navigating this transition with awareness to create the life you want you can contact Anoushka at anoushka@abehpsych.com).

3) What am I Moving Towards? : When we’ve only got an eye on the past it’s easy to forget to look ahead – which is actually the really exciting part. Clearly out the closet makes lots of fresh space for the new. Even if it feels like a lot of empty space at first or unfamiliar , you’ve been given the freedom now to design what you want your life to look like in this new phase. So now that we’ve established the old model wasn’t working – what upgrade would you like to install? Was there a course you’ve been meaning to sign up for that you were putting off ? Friends you’d like to re-connect with? Or perhaps a place you’d like to travel to? Allow yourself to dream –  ( if you’ve forgotten how to – check out this inspiring music video by the BBC as part of the launch of BBC Music to get you kick started!) and , when you’re ready, spend each day connecting a bit more with what inspires and feels more authentically connected with you.

Here’s to your personal transformation that lies ahead. I honour you in your courage to embrace this time of challenge with a spirit of openness and and eye on the future, much warmth, Anoushka.

I’ve always believed that people come my way at the very right time in life and finding Anoushka as my therapist is the best thing that could have happened to me. Having recently moved to Singapore, thinking this will ‘save’ me from the issues and feelings that have been within me and that I’ve been avoiding for too long, I actually ended up hitting the rock bottom. But with the help from her, I’m now on a road to recovery . What I appreciate about Anoushka, is her approach – she is current and she is real and the positive energy about her is just extraordinary. Our meetings ground me and with her help I am able to stop and reflect on what has been the source of all of my actions to date and I’m coming up with a plan, for the first time in my life. Knowing that she is reachable at any given time, outside of meetings too, is very encouraging and I just know I can trust her. I’m very much looking forward to continuing our work together as I know she genuinely cares and that with her help, the steps I take, are thought through and I am now able to observe the problems and work on them before the bubble bursts.” – Deborah, on her road to transforming crisis into opportunity for self-awareness and growth.

Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Happiness, Mindfulness

Written by:

Anoushka Beh

Anoushka Beh, MSc (MFT), BSc Hons)(UK), is a Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach.

In an integrated approach, she combines her clinical expertise with various techniques including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), IFS (Internal Family Systems) techniques , Guided Visualization, EET (Emotional Empowerment Technique) and Mindfulness-based techniques.

With over a decade of experience, Anoushka's current work with clients is informed by a number of fields, including marriage and family therapy, developmental psychology, brain-based approaches and energy psychology. She aims to help clients transform times of crisis and challenge into an opportunities for self growth and true empowerment. She believes in providing clients with effective healing, enduring change and in the importance of not just responding to symptoms, but treating the root cause.

Anoushka Beh belongs to Abehpsych Counselling Services in Singapore