As one door closes another opens. But sometimes there is a period of time where you don't know what is next and yet change is moving upon you. Micro changes are happening all the time within yourself and all around you and it's a natural part of life. Transitions can be smooth, bumpy and fear provoking and all of the above at the same time! In one sense we're being called to gracefully embrace endings and at the same time making a leap of courage into something knew and unfamiliar.
Perhaps you can look back through your life and identify times when change has been a reaction to something outside of your control. You soon learn to adapt and become a new version of yourself as a result. But as we mature and have the capacity to reflect on our experiences we might also decide it is time to create a change that is more authentic and aligned with who we truly are. These types of changes bring a sense of agency and empowerment and help us individuate and become self realised. These kind of changes can influence and impact our lifestyles, marriages, families, careers, culture, organisations and even friendships and communities.
Taking time to slow down and do a life or career audit is a useful place to start when you're feeling the pull towards a major or significant life change. Moving toward change is better than languishing in something you don't like or don't want in your life. When we know we have come to the end of an era in one dimension of our lives we can be in a hurry to figure out what next. Or we might take some downtime and feel even more confused and unmotivated to get off the couch and start something new. But there is another way that can help you proactively take time the time to do the work and research into your next step. In just the following 3 steps you can begin to move from ambiguity, stagnation or anxiety, towards a more structured plan for positive change.
Three Steps for Change
1. I always encourage my clients to take pen to paper and start to reflect on the ideas they have had for sometime on what the next steps might be. In a sense beginning to create a map with alternate scenarios and not focussing too much on the how just the what. Another great way to do this is by checking in what is it you want to change or don't like about your current situation and starting to crystal clear about what you do want. You'll probably find in this stage of the process you've had some inclining toward somethings along the way. It's important to map those options on paper and start to look at them in the bigger context of your life by doing some further reflection and research. Flesh out at least 3 ideas so they become viable options.
2. Do some daily practice to support yourself through the fears and self-doubt that will inevitably show up along the way; especially during a transition. Mindfulness meditation for just 10 minutes a day can help you start to get into a habit of regulating your nervous system and move from fear to connection. Connecting with the change process can become a mind body practice that will help you with the action steps needed to be taken. You might begin to notice subtle shifts taking place where you feel different and begin to notice new perspectives on relating to the experience of change. You can also nurture yourself with good food, regular sleep, exercise and maintaining a neat physical environment; these practices will support your wellbeing and resource your energy.
3. The final phase is the action step where it's time to step beyond the familiar circle of friends and family and seek support from people on the same journey, peers, mentors or a coach or counsellor who is skilled at supporting the journey through evidence based strategies, videos and research. Start experimenting with the different directions in conversations, embodying change and testing your ideas knowing you're not locked in to one option until you decide to be. Through the exploration phase you will learn more about your options and how you really feel and gain clarity of mind. This part if the part you don't do alone and reflective with someone else will help you see what direction is the right one for you. Begin with these 3 steps to start the ball rolling and get your mind thinking about the change process and how you can navigate the gaps from where you are and where you want to be.