Change is great when it is for the good. But how do we navigate it when it’s challenging—in cases such as the ending of a relationship, marriage or job?
Change happens when our circumstances shift. Transition is the inner process of how we navigate and adjust ourself in response to this change. What once was a space filled with the familiar has been emptied out leaving with it many mixed emotions that can be challenging. Here are some tips on how to navigate:
Let go of the past. Without letting go of the past, we remain stuck in the energy of ‘what was’, which inhibits the progress and transitional shift to occur. Be aware of your thoughts and the stories you are telling yourself that may be keeping you in a space of longing to go back to the way things were.
Don’t stuff it. Sometimes the past is difficult to let go because we have lingering feelings of anger, regret or resentment. Perhaps we are unwilling to let go of our familiar sense of identity or we are scared of giving up old ways of doing and being, which leaves us with losses. Perhaps we think that life will never be as good as it was. Take the appropriate time to grieve, process and resolve emotions instead of stuffing them away, as doing so will only affect your body’s health in the long run.
Use it as an opportunity to grow. Evaluate the situation and any lessons it taught you seeing how you can apply them moving forward. What parts of your self is being triggered by the change? What parts of you feel the most vulnerable? Identifying your emotions and the fears behind them are all good indicators on some self work to do that will help shift your transition through new beliefs and perspectives by preparing your new path. Mark the old ways of being over so you can move on and step into the new.
You are more resourceful than you think. Make a list identifying any losses. Think about how else your needs can be met in this new period of change and ask yourself how you can use your inner resources to help fulfill these needs. What new ways of doing and being will help you navigate this new space?
Redefine your sense of purpose and move forward with intention. Even if you don’t know what your sense of purpose may be yet, keep it as simple as “to bring kindness and love to the people I interact with”. Keeping things simple and positive will help you shift quicker and easier.
Accept instead of resist. Embrace the state of limbo. After letting go, you may find yourself displaced, not knowing what to do, who you are or where to go. Welcome to the neutral zone, where you may feel uncomfortable, confused and maybe even helpless. The good news is that’s normal. Knowing how to navigate the neutral zone is critical however to the new beginning that lies ahead. During this period it is helpful to:
1. Readjust expectations of yourself and just ‘let be’ without measuring or judging yourself to your standards – which are now old. This means setting new ones. Be humble, gentle and compassionate with yourself. Self talk in the third person is a great resource to walk yourself through situations, as it can help adjust perspectives.
2. Get creative. This is the best time to explore new things and find creative solutions. Paying attention to what inspires you and makes you feel good can all be navigational hints that can turn into life changing directions and experiences that will help you redefine your new identity, life or way of being even if at the time it may seem unlikely. In fact, you have already started sewing the seed of the new even though you may not think so.
3. Maintain a higher perspective. Spend time alone to meditate and trust that a higher power is at work for you. In fact, ask it to work for you. Hand over your doubts and fears that distract you and may be keeping you in a space of fear keeping you stuck. Know that this period is only temporary and will get better. You will get out alive, healthy and well. Change is one of the universal principals of the evolution of life itself- everything has a beginning and an end. Know and trust that you are evolving in some way even though it may not feel like it. You are stronger than you think. And something even better is waiting.
4. Allow yourself to accept a new beginning. Even though it may be scary because it’s new and unfamiliar, the important thing to remember is to just take the steps forward.
Take away: The way we navigate change and transition will determine the experience of our future.