From marriage and moving to career changes and retirement, life is filled with transitional periods, and they aren’t always easy to navigate. In fact, despite what age, gender, ethnicity, family status, sexual orientation, or profession, a common struggle people find themselves in is embracing change during life’s biggest transitions.
You may be faced with navigating exciting new chapters that you planned for, and yet you don’t quite feel the way you thought you should. There may be a new phase of life that knocked the wind out of your sails because you never saw it coming. That’s the tricky part about life: the journey is filled with ups and downs and seasons that spin you around.
How Do We Get to the Other Side?
Robert Frost said that “the best way out is always through.” Even when there is difficulty and uncertainty, Mr. Frost is correct; you have to go through it to get out on the other side. More often than not, this leads to an even stronger version of you! Learning to embrace where you are during the transition and figure out how to settle into each new phase of life will be one of the most rewarding skills you can learn.
Assess Your Emotions
Be unapologetic in how you are feeling, but take time to really understand how exactly that is. Life has a way of throwing curve balls that we never saw coming. Some of these curves throw us into seasons of grief or overcoming, while others can lead to what can be the best seasons of our life. Regardless, be honest with yourself and others when possible about your emotions surrounding this time. Are you excited, anxious, happy, overwhelmed? Knowing how you feel can help you sort through that time and allow the transition to feel easier.
Concentrate on What You Can Control
In every moment of your life there are things you can control. Of course, it may not always seem this way, but if you pause for a moment, you can find the things you have control over among the chaos. If you are overwhelmed by moving to a brand new city, you may not be able to flip a switch and feel completely secure. What you can do is do your research ahead of time, create a list of new local resources, keep your inner circle from home on speed dial for support and plan out what your first goals will be once you move in to make yourself more comfortable. Sometimes what you can control are simple and small, but the impact they have can be much bigger.
Even though it may feel isolating at times, try to remind yourself that you have people in your life who may have been where you’ve been before. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and reach out to a trusted friend or family member during times of heavy change or uncertainty. Ask a divorced friend how they handled their separation, share your concerns about losing touch with your child as they leave the house for the first time, find other friends who know what it’s like to retire from a career they loved. When you let your walls fall down, it’s incredible who you can let in and how that support changes the game.
Know That This, Too, Shall Pass
Life’s transitions are just that, transitions. They aren’t meant to last forever, and each one comes with its own emotions to embrace and challenges to overcome. The important thing is to allow yourself to navigate them the way that feels best to you and the part of life you’re in. Open your mind and your heart to the lessons you can learn during each new phase and hold on knowing there is something beautiful waiting on the other side.