Business, empower, Health, productivity

5 ways to deal with unexpected changes

Have you ever had one of the defining moments that changed everything about your life, moving forward? It’s not uncommon to have a few of these “defining moments”. 

My most recent one happened this past Thursday…which landed me in the hospital. 

But, before I get to that…

Despite the best made plans, unexpected changes can happen to any of us. When shifts happen faster than we can process, it can make a person feel: out of control, helpless, and anxious.

However, these “shifts” can be the biggest gift of all….like me coming up with this gem of a blog :)

Today’s message is brought to you because just a few days ago, I was dealing with something completely out of my control. My brain was completely coherent but I could not speak the words I was thinking.

One minute, I was chatting with Ed before he left for his work day. It appeared I had lost my train of thought, but then…I literally couldn’t speak.

After a few failed attempts to speak complete sentence, Ed insisted we go to the hospital. 

This was definitely not how I wanted to start my day. 

As I patiently awaited my fate, I was also re-arranging my day (with Ed’s help, of course). 

Then, I had this sense of panic come over me… What if I could no longer speak? 

Not speaking is a super cruel joke for a coach and podcast host.

I had many tests done to rule out a stroke or something else. My ability to speak came back over the course of the day. The verdict: a complicated migraine. Thank goodness it was nothing more serious. Needless to say, it was a good wake up call. 

Now that I am home (and doing much better), I have put together a list of “exercises” to help you deal with unexpected changes or delays without losing your s#!t.

Here we go:

1). Ask yourself, “What’s my ‘go-to’ plan when I get thrown off-course?” Do you have a mantra that you chant to yourself? Do you take a break from the chaos? Is there someone you can turn to for extra support? If you don’t have a plan, do this:

Bonus: Write down the five or six things that constantly wreck your day. Then, write out the ideal solution to handle these situations.

2) Ask for help. I can imagine that there is some fear in trusting people to do stuff for you because they can’t do it like you or you think you have no one to help you…I hate to break it to you but this way of thinking is going to break you. 

The picture I took for this blog shows me hooked up to an IV, holding my “call for the nurse” controller.

We need to be well nourished and we need to know there is someone waiting to support us. These were two things I used to shrug off.

Now, I know that I need healthy nourishment and supportive people, in order to thrive.

Bonus: Identify who can support you? Who can you count on as your “power team”? Reach out and ask someone on your “team” for support.

3) Document and have the right systems in place. This one really hits home for me because I used to rely on my brain as storage for "my system". Um, hello…systems only count if you can hand someone the written details of said system and have them execute the system without you. If I would have been incapacitated, my business would have been screwed.

Bonus: Take the most important “core” system of your business and write out every detail, as if you were going to train someone on how to do it for you.

4) Identify the lesson to be learned in the unexpected change. Of course, this can be challenging, in the heat of the moment. However, taking time to reflect on what lessons you are being shown, puts you in the driver seat.

Bonus: The next time you are experiencing a change or shift, ask yourself: “What is this moment teaching me and what is it telling me to avoid?”

5) Be open to new and improved ways of achieving success. Instead of looking at moments of uncertainty or unexpected change as the “kiss of death”, identify other skills or resources that will help you achieve success. 

Bonus: Jot down “If this, than that” scenarios. For example: if I couldn’t speak, I would have found another way to communicate my message. Perhaps I could have learned sign language. Written more blogs, guest columns, or books. Now, write down your own “If this, than that” scenario

These are just a few examples of how to deal with unexpected change. What was the most impactful take-away for you? I would love to read your comments. Share your thoughts below!

Remember, we are not meant to live on an island, by ourselves. Take a few moments to access where you could use some more support in your life. Let the bonus exercises I mentioned, guide you.

If you need more help, just ask me.

It’s time to rock!

Take Care,


I’m Erica Castner. A master certified business and breakthrough coach that's dedicated to helping busy professionals shatter procrastination, boost confidence and accomplish their goals quicker and more efficiently.

I would love to help you accomplish your goals. Tell me about the most important goal you want to accomplish.