Navigating Transitions Well Means Keeping in Touch with Yourself

Navigating transitions-courage
Navigating transitions means letting go.

Navigating transitions can feel like being in a small boat on an unknown and unpredictable sea.

Will the waves stay calm? Will it get stormy? Is there any land in sight?

Change and transition are both fundamentally disorienting. They move you out of the familiar into the new. And when you don’t have a map, that can be scary.

However, when you embrace them, changes and transitions provide you with enriching and expansive experiences.  Navigating transitions will always stretch you and introduce new elements into your life.

Navigating transitions by supporting yourself.

We often talk and think about how best to support friends and family when they are going through changes. But how about supporting yourself as you go through your life transitions?

Isn’t that just as important as finding time to support your friends?

Think about it: your schedule is already busy with relationships, work, and the logistics of daily life.  What do you do, and how do you feel, when along with all of that, you are faced with a major life transition?

Such a transition might include things like starting or ending a primary relationship, having a child, moving to new surroundings, dealing with a health issue, or changing jobs.

Transitions have a big impact.

Navigating transitions is unsettling for anyone who undergoes them. It’s important to respect their impact.  Even seemingly ‘small’ changes require a recalibration.

And navigating transitions also means dealing with unpredictability. They have a profound effect, and at the same time, you may not be able to predict or have much control over the form they take or when they present themselves.  Sometimes you can, but not always.  

However, what is unique, and what you can control, is how you make the time to meet your own needs in the midst of change.

Try this:

One excellent way to get to know yourself better, relative to transitions, is to use your imagination.

Practice thinking about a transition before-the-fact.  Take any example of an event that is a life transition. Set aside 15 minutes once a day to think about it.

During your 15 minutes of reflection, write down the changes you will need to make to find the time to successfully navigate these transitions.  Do this for a few days, trying on different kinds of transitions.  

Notice the ideas that bubble up.  Pay attention to how your feelings evolve.

Don’t forget others when navigating transitions.

Quite often, your transitions involve other people and may require a team approach to getting through. When you are navigating transitions in your life, it helps to keep the people close to you involved in your process.

  • Ask them what they see as important about the event. Be sure to encourage each person in your circle to say what they think will be important during this life transition.
  • Allow each person making this life journey with you to be clear about their needs.
  • Include, in your plan for finding time, each person’s feelings, needs, and the unavoidable changes each will need to make.
  • For those of you who live alone, it is equally important to include your support system in your planning. Problem-solving together creates a sense of teamwork and coordinates efforts.

Remember that this is a dynamic process over time. Keep in touch with each other to ensure that original decisions are working and that everyone remains open to adjusting the plan as the transition evolves.

And above all, as a base, remember to keep in touch with yourself as you successfully navigate your life transitions.

And here’s more help:

Do you ever feel like change is coming at you too fast, or like it just arrives, uninvited, out of the blue?

I’ve recently been working with a client who was blind-sided by the sudden passing of a long-time co-worker. It’s turned her work life upside down and has also shaken her on a deep and personal level because this co-worker was the same age and also a good friend.

It’s brought up all kinds of big questions, on top of grief, and new work demands. The stresses and questions are piling up and she is feeling disoriented and anxious.

We’ve been working together on this for several weeks now. And today I shared a new time tool with her. I want to share it with you as well.

It’s titled How to Partner with Change and Aging. And to discover more about it right now, you can click here.

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