Lately, many of my friends are going through transitions, whether taking time off after leaving a job to figure out their next move, suffering a financial crisis that throws them off course or struggling with a loss of purpose and identity. When undergoing such shifts, it’s really important to acknowledge that you are indeed undergoing a big transition and permit yourself some space (as in time and breathing room) to recalibrate into the next phase, especially when the next phase is unknown. By not giving ourselves this space, we can experience a pitfall of emotions such as feeling a loss of identity, irrational self-doubt and negative thinking.
Here are five things to consider as you deal with big changes. And don’t forget that giving yourself this space will hopefully accelerate your transition to the next phase of your life — one that will be truly aligned with what you want.
1. Realize this change is your destiny: Life is not a straight line — it’s full of twists and turns to lead you to your purpose. Sometimes we get set back, sometimes we accelerate forward. I define transitional periods as the timeout in between these changes to make sure our future actions and decisions are really what we want. And if we don’t know what we want…we need to do more searching.
2. Surround yourself with inspiration and joy: Throw yourself into activities, read publications, and meet people who feed your curiosities, interests and passions. Once you start feeling great again, you will project great emotions and attract great people and experiences. And guess what this leads to? New ideas and visions for yourself because you’re connected to your genuine self again.
3. Make you your strategic plan: It’s hard to manage ourselves, so channel your professional skills to create a plan for yourself. A marketing or business initiative has a schedule (e.g. how much time should you block out to take off?); it has objectives at the end of the period (what are the top 1-3 things you want?); a plan to get to the goal (what inspirational/experiential activities and research will you pursue?; what kind of attitude and mindset will you bring?). Having this plan will quiet your inner negative voices because you have made the agreement with yourself.
4. Trust yourself: Respect your instincts and intuitions… honor them by journaling them and taking them seriously. They will build on each other and before you know it, your next move might just smack you in the face!
5. Make your transition blissful: Because the unknown can get scary and uncomfortable, be intentional about making it “blissful” — and yes, using an extreme word like this is intentional. Make it blissful by appreciating every minute you have off and soaking up every experience you have as if it was your last. Decide that every person and encounter you have is meant to give you clues. Relish in your freedom to have this opportunity, repeat to yourself that you deserve to be happy and healthy and promise yourself you won’t settle.