How to Take Advantage of Anger Denial and Fear

How do you feel about change and the uncertainty this can bring?

Some love it. The excitement, not knowing what will come next, the challenge and the opportunity.

Some hate it. The nerves, not know what will come next, the challenge and the obstacles.

Whichever camp you fall into you can’t escape change.

Change is ever present and as the famous saying goes.. ‘the only constant is change.’

The following provides an example of searing, stress inducing and unique change.

It also illustrates the emotions you will feel when you experience this type of change and what to do about it.

The Crash 

In 2008 I worked for a bank that had grown year on year, trusted by the public, going from strength to strength.

At the height of the banking crisis the family atmosphere in the company was torn apart. The company was saved by the Government via the use of public money.

The company split into two and staff were told that a percentage of us would be staying with the nationalised (bad) bank. The rest would be moved to a new (good) and established bank.

People were skipping down the halls. Those moving company to the good bank were in rapture. They saw a future, their jobs were secure and they were leaving the bad bank.

For those staying with the bad bank the mood was low. Were jobs safe? Did the company have a future? What was going to happen next?


It is human nature to focus on the negative. Many were concerned about it ‘getting worse, before it got worse.’

The most common question was ‘Am I guaranteed a job, based on everything that is happening?’

My reply. ‘No.’

The silence and look of disbelief on their faces is something I can still see now, some eight years later.

They were looking for reassurance and to be comforted. My answer was akin to picking up a stick and poking the wound a little more.

Lying was not going to help.

‘If you want me to guarantee your job I can’t do that. If you had asked the question a year ago, even two years, I would have given you the same answer. No job is guaranteed, even in the good times.’

The next few months were turbulent for everyone. It took a while to deal with the emotion of what took place.

Many of those staying with the ‘bad’ company had been there for ten years or more. Many had bought shares in the company – all now worth nothing. A grieving for the death of the company was taking place.

[tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true” remove_url=”true”]“All things which greatly hurt me greatly teach me” ― Karen Salmansohn[/tweetthis]

Change Cycle

When you experience significant change it is likely you will go through four emotions.



Seeing a potential future

Embracing the future and moving on

How long you spend in fear/denial and anger is a personal journey. There is no set guide to how quickly you move to seeing the potential future and embracing this future.

Everyone is different and get ready to jump back and forth between fear and anger. It happens to everyone, is completely natural and helps with the psychological process of dealing with change.

The Good Bit

It will be scary, frustrating and confidence zapping. Oh, it is likely you will experience all these emotions at the same time!

The experiences build a great talent, a talent of resilience.

Building resilience means you will face adversity. It also gives you the ability to ‘bounce back’ the next time you deal with a set back.

Your brain stores the memory. When you experience something similar it will access the memory and let you know about it. ‘Hey, this is going to be tough, there may be a few tears, but you have dealt with something similar before – you will get through it.’

It Will be OK

For everyone that moved to the ‘bad bank’ they experienced something unique.

Something unique that caused stress, worry and fear about their jobs.

Many of them are still working there today.

They built resilience and anything after this became much easier to deal with.

The next time you have to deal with something traumatic, something that causes your head to pound think about the unique opportunity it brings and how it will actually make you stronger.

You will get through it.

Believe and take action.

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Ian Ruane

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