Making Changes – What Is Troubling You?

Making Changes – What Is Troubling You?

Making Changes – part 3 of the series. Be Clear About Your Emotions!

What Is Troubling You? In the last post in this series  I discussed the need to be quite clear about what you need to change. I said you needed to be as specific and detailed as you could in the way you defined the change.  Starting with a clear and detailed description has a huge impact on the success of your change.

emotion icon
Next you need to think about how you really feel about the change. No significant change is made without some impact on our emotions.  Understanding what those emotions are and knowing how to manage their impact can be key to success.

Troublesome emotions

Troublesome emotions like anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, hurt, jealousy and envy can occur at any time in our lives.  They might be associated with lots of different events. Sometimes they occur when most people may think there should be nothing to worry about.  But they worry you. And they can be very difficult to deal with.

Perhaps one theme and one emotion recurs time and again.  It hasn’t stopped you doing something but it has made it more difficult to do and less satisfying.

Teasing out exactly what the emotion could be is the first step in understanding the thoughts and beliefs behind it.  It can help you gain control of the emotion and make sure things turn out more positively in future.

What Is Troubling You? What do you really feel?

What do you feel, when you think about the change you have to make? Exactly what emotion is being stirred within you?

Now is the time to take some time for reflection. Try not to judge yourself for the emotion you feel. Be very honest with yourself.  Sometimes support from someone you trust like a coach can be helpful in working out what is troubling you.

The next post in this series will be about what aspect of the change is triggering the emotion and why?

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

Working with a coach can help you to change successfully – email me at the address below for information on how I can help you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

From the Motivation and emotion/Tutorials/Emot...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

In the last post in this series I asked you to start thinking about emotions and I explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future.

Now, you need to identify what is most difficult for you about the change. 

This is important because it helps you get to the root of the problem and so you avoid spending too much time on the peripheral issues. It saves you energy you would have spent dealing with less important aspects of your change. For example, you might feel angry about something that happened last time you tried to make this kind of change. But what really caused you to feel that way?

When you know what it is that is actually causing your big emotion, you can start to develop a more helpful attitude. 

Find a little time and a quiet space to go through this exercise. Think about what happened in the past to make you feel this way. Now imagine someone telling you the same story. What advice would you give them? Imagine questioning them about what happened and pressing them to tell you more and more about how it happened until you get right down to the root cause. Now what is that fundamental belief about themselves that is making them feel uncomfortable.

What advice would you give them to help them have a more healthy attitude? Now step into their shoes and think about you having the same experience and how you can now apply the new approach. Practice thinking in this new way. 

Success here depends on being very honest with yourself.

If you need support from a coach in sorting out the fundamental belief that is stopping you making positive changes, get in touch, my phone number is below. 

The next post in this series will be about setting goals for your change and how to avoid the pitfalls in goal setting. 

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

The links to the earlier posts in this series are below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Related articles
  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You
  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Wa

Redundancy and layoff – emotions and what to expect!

English: rain clouds Looking out to sea at the...
When you are made redundant you may have to work your way through some very challenging and negative emotions. These can be disturbing and worrying for you and for those about you.  It helps if you, and they, know what to expect.
Shock and denial

Actually being made redundant comes as a shock.  Sometimes people simply refuse to believe it! Then they may go through a period when they deny what has happened.  They may have a conviction that somebody got something wrong and very shortly they will get a call back.

You may find yourself believing that the employer will change their mind. The reality is that it is very rare indeed for this to happen.  Good employers will have thought long and hard before announcing a redundancy and bad employers are very unlikely to want to admit they got it wrong.


After a while, you may become very angry.  This may be with your former employer but it might also be with your former colleagues – those who were lucky enough to stay! Why were you chosen and not them? The picture you paint in your mind of yourself and what happened can be far from the truth! Becoming consumed with anger is self-defeating and can be dangerous. If you, or someone near to you, can’t get passed this kind of anger, you may need to seek some outside help from a coach or counsellor and you may need to speak to your doctor.


It is usual to feel down when you have lost your job.  But after a while, this can turn into the darker emotion of depression.  Depression is an illness.  It goes with low self-esteem, loss of confidence and lack of energy.  You feel deeply miserable! You may not feel it is even worthwhile applying for another job, because no one is ever again going to want you.  Or you may apply for a job in a half-hearted way and then when you don’t get it that reinforces what you are already feeling.  So you can spiral down!

When this starts to happen it is best to get help. Depression is a serious condition and you should seek medical help if you feel it is becoming too much to handle.

Guilt and shame

It isn’t unusual to feel guilty when you have been made redundant.  You can feel it is your fault and that you have let yourself and your family down.  But in the present climate this is usually not true. Like you, lots of people who were very good at their work, are now unemployed.

It is painful even though it is not your fault.  But, you may feel shame and find yourself avoiding places and people that remind you of what has happened.  Sometimes people cover feelings of shame by behaving aggressively.

When you feel shame and guilt, sometimes it helps to stand back and think

  • Do I really believe someone thinks less of me as a result of this and would that be fair?
  • Would I think less of someone who had gone through an identical experience to the one I’ve had?
  • What advice would I give them, if they felt shame and guilt?

This is possibly the oddest emotion to list here.  But the reality is that you may feel relief that the uncertainty about being made redundant is over. The months before a redundancy is announced are often unpleasant and anxious – everyone is very uncertain.  Going to work has usually been stressful and now, at least, you are out from under the cloud!

Loss of confidence

Most of the emotions described above can undermine confidence and self belief.  You can begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. This in turn gets in the way of making a fresh start and finding a new job.

If you, yourself, are made redundant

Try not to be too proud to ask for and accept help.  It really can help to talk to someone else about how you are feeling.  As well as that, the best thing is to get into some practical tasks.  Don’t take a break before you begin your job search and, for example, CV updating.  Start as soon as possible.  Work with a buddy or a group if you can – there are lots around – search for one on the internet or ask in your local library or at the job centre.

Don’t let yourself feel isolated – these days, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are great places to network and just to have a virtual chat.

If you are a relative or friend of someone made redundant or laid-off

It can be hard to know how to talk to someone who has been made redundant!  You don’t want to be too downbeat and add to the misery.  But if you are too upbeat, you can sound uncaring.  It is usually no good at all telling someone who has just been made redundant that this may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them, even if it’s true.  But it is important to be there for them!  Expect, and allow space for, them to go through a range of emotions.  Counsel them to seek outside help if you are worried.

Meanwhile If you have a question or just want to let off steam, by all mean feel free to drop me a line here.  I will do my very best to help.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her at or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

Some other great posts for you to read

Job Search and Motivation – when the motivation vampire strikes!
6 Tips for Confident Networking
Unemployed – Interview Techniques – Behavioural or Competency Based Interviewing 

>”It’s natural to feel angry, but…!” Handling that Anger!


Angry Penguin 

Anger usually arises from some form of perceived transgression against yourself.  It needn’t be real – you just need to believe it happened! 
When the organisation you have worked for years, suddenly seems to be showing you the door, anger is an understandable reaction!
Anger comes about in three main areas
  • Someone or some thing gets in the way and stops you achieving a goal
  • Someone or some organisation breaks your personal rules.  For example, ‘I’ve worked for them for years and now they want to get rid of me!’
  • You self esteem feels threatened

Being made redundant or being “persuaded” to go “voluntarily” can tick all three boxes!

You feel angry and you may lash out verbally or physically.  Or you may displace your aggression and take it out on someone else; the family at home, for example, or someone more junior who is staying.  
Instead of attacking you may withdraw – storming out or simply opting out of active engagemnt with the work you are expected to complete!
Or you may attack indirectly – for example, subverting or spreading rumours about what the changes really mean – a passive aggressive response.
the "angry wasp", ensign of the 21º ... 
But it is clear that prolonged anger damages you mentally and physically!
You may believe that letting it out is the best way to deal with it.  But big, explosive, ‘cathartic’ expressions of anger reinforce your anger because the underlying beliefs are strengthened. 
To get over being angry you have first to get over the idea that others make you angry!
If others annoy you, it really is you who presses the anger button so that you ‘blow your top’!  
You ‘lose your temper’, no one takes it from you!  
And you probably regret it later, which shows that other options were available.
Your self talk determines how you respond to a situation. Anger results from how you think about a situation, not the situation itself.
Examine the potential results of your anger building up on top of the other challenges you face. 
  • Do you really want to risk damaged relationships?  
  • You will probably need to reference from your employer so now is not the time for poor performance!
  • Being in a constant state of anger will take a toll on both your physical and mental health!  

Look at alternative responses!  
You will be much better placed if you can be assertive rather than angry.  You should stand up for yourself  but without  loss of control.  
Begin to develop an early warning system by recognizing the early signs of anger (muscle tension, clenched fists, the rising voice and impatience) and then learn how to diffuse it,  You can talk yourself down or leave the situation and, when you are calmer, think how to deal with the situation in a more constructive way.
Start slowly and keep practicing.  If you can, talk to those closest to you, tell them why you are doing it and ask them to support you.
Here is a really useful website

Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public   Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at