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6 Tips For Coping With Trump Winning - From A Brexit Survivor

For all Americans, and everyone else, who are shocked, upset, saddened, disturbed and/or worried by Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton. Do read this short article to learn some helpful advice about how you can positively move forward.

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Campaigning in London in June 2016 on the day before the Brexit vote

What a feeling of Déjà vu. Half the population in shock and despair filling social media with words and pictures of angst, anger and sadness. With some taking to the streets to demonstrate against an outcome they cannot come close to living with. I experienced this first hand in London during the summer and now I witness it all over again both within the US and beyond. I both empathize and sympathize with the profound shock, grief and loss felt by those who assumed Hillary Clinton would beat Donald Trump. In the last ten days, since Trump’s victory, a couple of American business leaders that I coach have reached out to me asking – “How can I deal with, and work through, this profound upset and disgust that is currently overwhelming me?”

My advice to both these two expatriate leaders as to all who are struggling with Trump’s victory are the following 6-points:

1.Let go of any guilt based around "but why did I not see this coming?” Psychologists talk about behavioral biases and how we seek reinforcing information. It is only human to be blind-sided by events no matter whether they are day to day events or one-off Black Swan style events (to use Nicholas Taleb’s term).

2.It is ok to feel intense grief and anger. Taking a note out of the stages of grieving by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross you are ok feeling anger, pain and deep loss. Likewise it is understandable if you are willing to take to the streets shouting “Trump is not my President” or “I want to stay in the EU”. Give yourself some time to allow these feelings to calm down.

3.Allow yourself to talk it through with others. I realize that with such profoundly emotional choices we cannot have mentally prepared for the decision going against us. It is ok to talk it through, to try to rationalize it and to seek sense. Before June I knew Brexit supporters might win just as I knew Trump might prevail; but only through experiencing the event itself could my feelings, thoughts and emotions truly emerge. And only through conversations with others was I able to work these through.

4.Learn to accept. I do not mean learn to be happy or ok, but rather allow yourself to be at peace. I compare this to a parent whose child chooses to marry a partner you might detest and hate, whose values are so different to your own. Once they are married the wisest path is to learn to make peace with your negative feelings, to learn to be civil and friendly with your new son- or daughter-in-law.

5.Find solace in helping others come to terms. You may never feel comfortable hanging out with groups of Trump supporters and you are probably surrounded by like-minded “Why did Clinton not win” friends and colleagues. Why not help these friends come to their own terms of acceptance and to overcome their own feelings of grief?

6.Find an avenue for your frustrations. Ask yourself what can I do for the good and to harness my energies? Perhaps in your town or city you commit to become involved in politics or to help certain NGOs who look to protect and support people or ideas that you fear a President Trump might negatively impact. If your anger and frustrations persist take up mindfulness activities such as meditation, spending time in nature and other calming activities.

Nigel Cumberland, is a British leadership coach and author who works across the world based out of London and Dubai and is a co-Founder of The Silk Road Partnership. His latest best selling book, with a Foreword from Marshall Goldsmith, is “100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living” (Published last month in the US by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, available online and in bookstores globally)

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