Ride the wave - on navigating big changes and transitions
How do you navigate change? How do you find something to anchor you while you ride the wave of any major life transition? Because transition can be a roller coaster. Did you know that we go through an average of 4 major transitions in our lifetime. For me, a transition is any time you take your life from one path to a totally different one. A different path requires new guidelines and might even have different rules. Here are a few examples of transition:
- Changing careers
- Losing weight
- Moving to a new city
- Having a baby
- Having a monumental birthday
- Losing a loved one
- Going back to school
- Getting married
- Losing your job
- And more...
These look very similar to the things that can put you into a vulnerability tail spin, which I wrote about here. Transitional times can also leave you feeling raw because all the security you used to rely on may be gone. It's not that you can't handle change, because we all crave change. It's that your ability to predict what comes next has been tampered with and that turns change from something exciting to something threatening.
Life transitions, whether prompted by you or totally out of your control, also come with new guidelines and that's what makes it so uncomfortable. I'm in the midst of a pretty big transition myself right now brought on by many factors I didn't expect. That's another thing about transition - we may think we're prepared but then it all hits us at once and we had no idea what was really coming. So the question is - how do you go with the flow and ride the wave of a big life change?
I hope this helps - by remembering that your transition does not define you. Transition is a by-product of major change but it is not who you are. You will move through it, and this is key - move through it. The only way to get through a transition is to keep going.
In transition you keep waiting for the world around you to go back to something you recognize. But what you don't think about is that you're not the same after major change. The world may not recognize you! You come out the other side with fresh perspective, new strength, and possibly new guidelines for how you want to live your life. Here are a few tips for riding the wave of change and, yes, getting through it stronger on the other side.
During this time all you want to do is regain some control. So this may sound a bit odd, but I encourage you to let go. Go with whatever is happening. Allow yourself the space and time to experience everything this time in your life has to teach you.
Let it be what it needs to be
There's really no way to predict how this change will effect you long term. But there is always a lesson in times of change. Look for how it's changing you, helping you, and challenging you. Let this time in your life be whatever it needs to be and go with the flow.
Take time out of the equation
Maybe this time in your life will pass in a matter of days or months. Which ever I encourage you to take your time table out of the equation. In other words, don't decide up front how much time you're willing to give this change or transition. That can just make it harder. You are growing through this process. When you've learned what you need to learn you will know. You will wake up one day and just feel ok again.
Ask for support
No matter what kind of transition you're in the midst of, find your support system. Friends, family, coach, journal - whatever gives you the support you need right now. Build it in. You can go through this alone but do you want to? Doesn't it sound nice to have a sounding board there to help you navigate all this change?
Embrace the other side
So you've moved through some major change in your life, now what? Embrace it! Are you now married? A new parent? In a new career? A new city? Single? Embrace this new chapter because soon it will be your new normal.
I also created this Pen & Paper topic, Navigate Transition & Change which comes with 3 journal prompts. They will help you navigate transition and embrace this time in your life. You can purchase it here.