Life is moving fast. We are always evolving, challenging ourselves, trying our best to create a better future we can be proud of. However, those periods of rapid change and transitions don’t feel great all the time. At times you may feel tested, less confident, tired, and pushed beyond your limits. You may feel like you’re losing some vital parts of yourself and questioning everything. This is why we need to get better at dealing with change.
From May 2019 to December 2019, I went from an entry-level position to completing graduate school to a full-fledged supervisor with a full caseload of clients, little supervision and help, and expected to just “do it”, competed in two bodybuilding competition, found an apartment, became a personal trainer and a life coach, took a licensure exam, and clawed my way through navigating new role as a clinical and supervisor. Essentially, I went from infant to hard-core adulting in 5ish months.
If you’re like me, you strive to grow and be better than yesterday. You imagine it being a slow process and that you’ll feel good about shedding from your cocoon into a beautiful, capable, confident butterfly!
Not quite. It’s hard. Really hard. The new level means new and sometimes, more responsibilities, new areas of improvements, new stressors, and a new version of yourself.
If any of this has resonated with you, great! You’re transitioning to the next chapter of your life. I use the word chapter because I like to think about our life as our story and stories have chapters. Sometimes chapters overlap within the story and that’s life. Each chapter connects to one another and is necessary for the bigger picture.
I have thought long and hard about some things that have helped me through some of the most challenging and emotionally draining times.
I’d like to share with you six tips to help you handle the many transitions you’ll go through in life.
1. Utilize your support system. Your friends and family truly want to help you. Allow them. It does not make you any less capable to ask for help or guidance.
2. Allow yourself the space to learn, to feel vulnerable, and to feel less confident. Often times we want to be great at something right away and when that doesn’t happen we feel like we have failed or that room from growth is not allowed. Not true! You are allowed space and grace to say “hey, I’m new at this, I don’t have it all together but with practice and experience, I will become better”
3. Change your perspective. A moment ago I said to allow yourself to feel the feels but also look at the time of transitioning as a learning experience. If we are avoidant, resistant, or straight up negative about the whole experience, we may miss some great learning opportunities. I love this question that I heard some time ago. Ask yourself, “What is this experience trying to teach me?”
4. Trust yourself. You are smart. You are capable. You are worthy of good things and the life you want. You won’t fail and you won’t run out of options. BELIEVE IN YOU!!! One way to do this is to write down the last time you made a really good decision or when you stuck to your intuition. Keep that situation in sight as a reminder that you’ve got this and there is tangible proof that you can believe your own thoughts.
5. Just because it is difficult doesn’t mean it is not for you. Transitions are hard. They are scary. Just because there is some level of fear of the unknown or difficulties arise, doesn’t mean you should go back to old maladaptive habits, bad relationships, or dead-end jobs. Ask yourself, “where is this resistance coming from?” When you can find the source it is much easier to work through.
6. Some people may not make it your next chapter and that’s OK Sigh. This is a tough one. Whenever we move on we always choose “yes” to one thing and “no” to something else. Sometimes that person in your life. Sometimes we don’t intentionally remove friends, family, or significant others. It’s the nature of evolving; everyone does not and cannot come with you. Smile and remember how important that relationship was for your growth and how necessary that relationship was from the time it started.
No matter how hard we try to remain comfortable, as we grow we will continue to be faced with challenges and difficulties.
Transitioning to a better version of yourself may not always be fun or a walk in the park, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a negative experience.
Give yourself the patience that even though you may not feel like yourself yet, with time and effort you will be even better.