“When life changes, you must change.” Simple yet wise advice from Gayle Martz, entrepreneur and author of IT’S IN THE BAG, a memoir of entrepreneurial perseverance and success. Martz’s advice sounds simple at first, but how many of us are frustrated about changes that are forced upon us in life? We often resist instead of pivot, missing out on new opportunities that come with change. Martz has been forced to pivot many times throughout her life, and she’ll be the first to tell you that is what pushed her to greatness. She lost her job, her fiancé, and moved out of her home all within a short period of time. She was forced to start over, and out of that loss and drastic life-change came a million-dollar entrepreneurial career and an unshakable sense of purpose. When we cling to what was, we feel resentful and out of control. Instead, we must learn to pivot, turning to face our new normal and taking back our control.

Here are a few ways you can pivot when life suddenly changes directions.

Be Creative with Purpose

Instead of feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed when your sense of normal is shaken, challenge yourself to find new creative ways to get involved by finding a purpose to pursue. Martz writes of her response to the pandemic, “I thought about what I could do to help make a difference in the current situation.” And then she acted by making public statements, donating to charities, and moving her business to a digital model. Wallowing and resisting the changes that we face keeps us stuck and depressed, so find a way to contribute in a positive way. Research published in the peer-reviewed medical journal PLOS ONE found that people with a strong sense of purpose are more resilient and positive. They even live longer according to the study. Clinging to old ways is the opposite of being resilient. So, find your sense of purpose, stay positive, and pivot with the change!

Be Curious

Learning something new can help you pivot and embrace change. We often feel overwhelmed when we are faced with challenges that we do not know how to handle. Instead of resisting what is, dive in and learn something new! When Martz didn’t know how to start her business, she sought out the information she needed to learn and faced it head-on. She learned about manufacturing and delivering her products, topics she was not initially interested in, but which were crucial to her success. According to research reported in an article for the Harvard Business Review, learning something new can also help your brain adapt to change, making it more resilient to handle stress. Don’t let change intimidate you. Instead, let it spark your curiosity so you can  learn something new in order to handle that change with grace and resilience.

Be Still

Change can be stressful. So when the world seems overwhelming, stillness and quiet can be your friend. Meditation and breathing exercises are good spiritual practices to help find stillness amidst the chaos. Martz also writes how peace found in faith and prayer helped her through many difficult times personally and professionally. Research has backed Martz’s belief in practicing faith as an important factor to success as an entrepreneur. Harvard Business Review discusses research that shows successful entrepreneurs have a couple of things in common. They pray often and believe in “an engaged and responsive God who takes personal interest in them.” Consider reconnecting with spirituality and faith to help you combat stress and find a sense of peace and resilience amidst and ever-changing world.

For more lessons on perseverance and a purpose-fueled life, grab a copy of Martz’s latest book, IT’S IN THE BAG, today!

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