Going through a breakup of a significant relationship?
Remarried and now blending two families into one?
Experiencing business changes in a climate of economic uncertainty?
Getting through difficult transitions does not have to overwhelm your life. While these transitions are painful, they do not have to cause suffering. Reduce your pain and experience immediate relief with these10 tips.
1. You’re not crazy.
The ambiguity of a life transition, such as divorce, creates predictable responses. Everyone feels some overwhelm, fear, confusion, forgetfulness, and diminished self confidence when experiencing a major life transition.
2. Pain is natural—suffering is optional.
When a relationship ends it hurts. Period. Our choices in what we think and how we act contribute to the period of time we are in pain, as well as to the intensity of that pain. What we think is how we feel.
3. Choose which story you want to tell yourself.
Those who write empowering scripts fair better than those who allow negative, disempowering thoughts to complicate their transition process. Notice your story. Does it empower you? Do you need a new story?
4. Take action to get unstuck.
Added pain occurs when we notice we are stuck—in indecision—in overwhelm. Being stuck in transition invades every part of our lives and immobilizes us. When we create short term goals and take actions towards those goals, we experience immediate relief.
5. Take care of yourself.
Pain and chaos of transitions pull us back into grieving what was and forward into fearing what might be. When that happens it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves—right now. Rest, relaxation, proper nutrition and exercise are crucial during a transition. Good self care promotes greater ability to tap our resourcefulness and creatively problem solve.
6. The best remedy to chaos is order.
Chaos breeds confusion, self doubt and fear in uncertain times. Order restores feelings of confidence and a sense of control at a time when much is beyond one’s control. De-cluttering a space as small as a drawer or as large as a garage brings an immediate sense of satisfaction and relieves the tension that naturally accompanies chaos.
7. Have a plan to move quickly and successfully through the transition.
If managed, chaos is limited. Without a plan, chaos perpetuates the discomfort, with additional disruptions and postponement of settling into the new life. A plan gives a sense of direction and organizes choices towards that direction.
8. We are our own worst enemy.
Our paralysis is fueled by fear and uncertainty. Without a stable base, we temporarily lose sight of who we are—our strengths and abilities to see us through tough times. We are overly sensitive, wary and skeptical. We tend to imagine the worst. Simply knowing this about ourselves aids in taking action.
9. Every crisis contains opportunity.
Chaos is charged with creativity. Take charge of your life and see this crisis as an opportunity to re-invent your whole life. Assess what was not working and plan differently going forward. Notice your values and design a life that allows you to live them more fully. Remember your dreams—and take the first steps toward living them.
10. Seek outside help.
In the middle of a life transition, it can be extremely difficult to know why we’re thinking what we’re thinking—and why we’re behaving the way we’re behaving. The key word is ‘outside’—an outside perspective makes the world of difference in seeing a bigger picture and in developing a plan to move past the paralysis and deliver concrete results.
As a Life Transitions coach, I help people move past the paralysis and help them manage feelings of being overwhelmed so that they can:
Understand their situation
Develop a plan
Get concrete results
These concrete results differentiate me from other life coaches. The tangible skills people gain in my coaching can be applied to every transition and every relationship, in all parts of their lives. The confidence gained by taking action and getting results during one of the biggest crisis of their lives boosts them on to explore uncharted aspects of themselves they didn’t know existed. A new beginning is always possible.
(c) Maren Beckman, 2010