“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.”
― Jeanette Winterson
Are you going through a time of change and upheaval? These changes can be sudden or a long time coming.
Whether these changes are in our work and career, relationship(s), family, health, finances, living circumstances or something else, we can suddenly find ourselves feeling shaken and vulnerable as feelings of shock, anger and confusion abound.
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Coming to terms with our changed reality is not always easy.
What is more – old solutions just don’t seem to work any more and new ones in the horizon are not any clearer.
We can be left floundering, feeling frustrated and even wishing that things were back to the way they were. But deep down we know that things have changed, sometimes irrevocably.
If this in any way resonates for you then you are not alone.
And there is good news too. With time, things do find a new order, especially as we make adjustments and come to terms with our changed circumstances.
If you find yourself going through a life transition, here are some pointers, which may help:
1) Acknowledge and Accept
Change is a normal, constant part of life. It is in the human DNA! Passing through the various stages of life and all it brings along with the unexpected is inevitable.
Any feelings of confusion, doubt, anxiety and depression are all normal human reactions and part of the change process.
Invariably though, so we are not left struggling and fighting forever, the currents of life force us to come to grips with our changed reality and make adjustments.
Acceptance can also fre.e our energy to move forward and come up with ideas and solutions we may have not seen before
2) Give Yourself Time
There may be a tendency for some of us to want to move on or move ahead quickly but one of the best things we could do is to not make any rushed decisions.
If you have change inflicted upon you, there is even more reason to take things slowly as you think thing through and explore what all your options are.
The worst time to make decisions is when you are already under tremendous stress and in the grip of strong emotions.
3) Family and Friends
Discuss how you are feeling with friends and family. Too often we can think we are the only ones we are going through our particular experience.
The truth is life means change and all of us have come through change and upheaval sometime or other.
If family and friends feel too close or you are conscious of not wanting to burden them as your only outlet, this might be the time to reach out for professional help.
This will also provide you with an external, objective lens.
4) The Silver Lining
With the changes you have had to confront, is there any silver lining?
As one person put it, “When I suddenly lost my job of over 30 years, I thought it was the end of the road for me. Little did I know then, that a whole new vista and quality of life was going to open up!”
Can you turn things to your advantage and make it work for you?
Focusing on your health, getting fit, challenging your eating habits to match your current body condition, getting enough sleep are all boosters that we can all benefit from.
5) Pursue Your Passion
What is something you have always wanted to do? What interests have remained dormant which could be explored now?
How about learning something new? Or perhaps writing and reviewing that bucket list so you can line up the next thing and check it off your list?
When life gets disrupted, the old patterns of being and doing things also fall apart. How about re-vistiting your routine and doing things in a different way?
For example, rather than doing a myriad of things as per before, make a commitment to yourself to do one important thing a day; rather than gulping breakfast with something less-than-nutritious, eat a nutritious breakfast more mindfully?
Creating gaps and slowing down can lead to new awareness and ideas opening up for you.
6) Appreciation and Gratitude
What are all the things that are still wonderful and great about your life?
Focus on what you can do and what is still great about your life. You may be surprised at what you tally up.
Also don’t neglect or ignore other responsibilities you have and the people in your life who continue to be there for you.
7) Life is Finite
As we get older, we become more conscious that life on planet earth, as we know it, is finite.
It is not a drill. This is it!
Ask yourself, “What really matters in this phase of your life?” Who are the people you want to make more time for? Are there others you need to say ‘good bye’ to?
Life is made up of events (tangible circumstances) and transitions which is the psychological dimension and our experience of the events.
How we handle these is up to us.
Each of us has our own unique journey and there is no “one right size fits all” solution. This gives us tremendous freedom, along with responsibility, to navigate these transitions in our own special way.
Make the most of it!
Jasbindar Singh loves helping people progress in the careers, leadership and lives. She works as a business psychologist, leadership coach and conference facilitator.
You can get her 7 Actions to Get Your Mojo Back Guide here
Read Donna Chisholm’s excellent coverage on the topic in the latest (August 2016 ) issue of North & South Magazine