July 14, 2023

8 Tips for Coping with Change & the Unfamiliar.

I awake this morning with my alarm and my brain telling me everything that I need to do.

Today is a big day. I am preparing a talk on “change” and I am excited.

I have been making changes myself, and these changes have taken five years. I have been making subtle shifts while maintaining my status quo. The shifts so far have been painful, and now I am at the stage where I need to take the big leap to get where I want to go; this requires a big change and letting go of the familiar and reliable.

Most of us take change slowly while others take the big leap all in one swoop. Regardless of how we do it, we might experience some pain in this process. In the early stage, there is discomfort, indecision, and then the final pain of the whole transition.

There are a few things that we need to be ready for. Here they are:

1. Know what you really, really want.

Write it out, talk about it, and really discern. This does take some time and revision. This is the start of the whole change process and growth mindset. Have some fun with it and write it all down including what keeps you feeling stuck.

2. Be prepared for some discomfort.

Change requires us to be uncomfortable. We need some discomfort in the first place to embark on the whole change process.

3. Be prepared to put in the work.

Regardless of what you want, you will need to spend some time and energy creating and getting what you want and need. This starts with getting up and going, even on the days when we don’t have to get going. When we put in time and work, we see progress, even if it is small. Think of clearing out your basement or in my case writing a book and moving across the country. The work isn’t just getting things done; it is taking extra care of yourself in the whole process. You are the kings and queens of this life and adventure, and doing the work means caring for yourself and others. Dig deep and dig in. Cultivate and growth will start happening.

4. Call in the troops.

If we are talking about change, we are ready to get some help from others. Call on friends and family if you need help. Know when to ask for help. Talking about what we really want with friends can be a life changer, so make sure you talk with people who will inspire, support, and ignite the fires of change. Call in people who have experienced similar change and you will have support and guidance.

5. Create a timeline and plan.

If you are at this stage, things are moving along. Really, half the battle is in our heads. Once our mind is made up, we usually move forward with ease. The timeline and plan help us with this. Start with the simple and build. We all have heard the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so plan it out. What do you need to do today to start? How about tomorrow and the next?

6. Celebrate success and failure.

Be easy on yourself and celebrate the steps you are taking toward change. If things don’t go your way then pause, reevaluate, and proceed. We are all miraculous beings, and this is our classroom. Change is not always easy and we often need to let go of some things in order to change. There might be loss and some grief and people may feel like they have failed at some things, but failure is the building block to growth. This is something people often forget.

7. Meditate and visualize.

I obtained a degree by meditating so I can reduce stress and clear my head. Meditation is a powerful tool, and so is visualization. Imagine how you will feel once you have achieved what you want. Envision and explore how this will feel. We can create this feeling and experience that will help you with motivation and follow through. If you imagine how you feel successfully finishing a race you will get up and keep running even though the race is six months in the future. Picturing that finish line and people there cheering will help you cheer yourself.

8. Have fun in the process.

This is simple. Celebrate the simple and take things in stride.

Are you ready? The start is writing it all down. Return to the start of this article, print it out, write it out, and begin. Please share if you have any additional suggestions and tell us “what you really, really want, ooh ah.”

~

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