Smoothing the Transition Process
Last week, I spoke of transition in general and in particular feeling stuck in the midst of great change and hidden opportunities. About how being in the midst of such great change and opportunity can feel uncomfortable, so painful that sometimes we’ll do almost anything to fight or run away from the feeling.
I ended my article with three questions. Obviously, we can’t force change to happen on our schedule so what can we do? How do we smooth the transition? Is it even possible to stay positive and balanced when the world is falling apart?
This week, I wanted to provide a few ideas that we can all use during difficult transitional periods to keep positive and to stay open to the possibilities. For this purpose, I have specifically chosen easy techniques that we can do no matter how heavy the load. Essentially, these tips are meant not to solve our problem but to help keep us out of our own way while we naturally work through the transition process to integrate our new reality.
Three Tips to Survive Transition
1) Find something positive each and every day. It doesn’t have to be something big just something truly positive. So, NOT, “At least I don’t have cancer” but instead “Wow, because I was walking more slowly I noticed the fall leaf colors”.
Why does this matter? Sometimes, when things seem heavy, we fixated on what doesn’t work. This bogs us down in negatives, making the world seem like an unsafe, unfair world. This only makes matters worse while draining our valuable energy reserves.
More so than that, when we fixate on the negatives, we never get to enjoy what is working right here and now. In life, there will always be problems to solve and transitions to work through. At some point though, if we don’t look up we will miss life entirely.
2) Give yourself some space. Do something you find enjoyable, if only for few minutes each day. When life gets chaotic, we tend to push harder trying to find a way to solve the problem. Unfortunately, in doing so, we tend to make more mistakes and become blind to potential solutions.
As we get older and we mature, we come to realize the importance of self-care and self-compassion. We truly are the only person who will be with us from birth to death. Your parents, your friends, your spouse, your children, even your dog isn’t always going to be there, isn’t always going to “get you”, and isn’t always going to be able to make you feel better. By taking that “me” time (even a few minutes), you are telling yourself that you are valuable enough to take that moment and even though things aren’t perfect know that it is okay to be you.
3) Open to the possibilities. Even if you don’t fully believe it at the time, remind yourself that this situation may just reveal a hidden opportunity. Like waiting for Christmas as a kid, sometimes it takes a lot of patience to wait and see what those gifts contain.
Hindsight is 20/20. We’ve all had experiences that seemed so very dire at the time but with perspective we saw the value in that challenge. We grew stronger, we became more confident in our abilities, or a new direction opened up before our eyes. Even though our current situation may seem equally devastating, isn’t it just possible that this too will be exactly what we need?