Our lives ask us to rise to the challenge of change on a daily basis. But step back and think about it for a second. Do you really feel prepared for each transition that comes around the bend?
I’d like to share 3 Timely Tips that can help you successfully navigate the twists and turns of your journey.
Tip #1: Create Your Transitional Toolbox.
Each challenge is unique. So you benefit by developing varied skills and resources for new situations. I call this your transitional toolbox. Your toolbox contains both personal skills that you can call upon in times of change and practical, concrete tools and supplies to keep on hand. For example, you might keep a stash of tasty prepared meals in the freezer to keep yourself well nourished during crunch times.
Here are some general pointers to support and sustain your resilience in times of transition.
1. Plan ahead for transitions. The larger the potential disruption, the more time you need to prepare for it.
2. As you plan for your transition, brainstorm a list of essentials you’ll want ready access to no matter what. Then separate the items on your list into categories.
- Within each category, identify your best sources for stocking up on necessities quickly and economically. For online shopping, you can streamline your process by creating a list of links that take you straight to products you regularly reorder. Or you can create wish lists on your favorite sites, for quick access.
- Consider stockpiling small, inexpensive items to avoid delays that cost you time and energy when you can least afford it. You could also consider automatic shipments for items you need to restock frequently.
Tip #2: Learn from Your Successes.
Overwhelm creates amnesia. Refuse to forget your triumphs in times of transition! They offer rich lessons for what look like “insoluble” challenges … but usually are not!
Make a list of transitions you’ve weathered successfully. From this list, pick one or two that pertain to your current situation. First, simply be with the satisfaction of having met those challenges. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Now, remind yourself of the choices you made that supported you. List practical steps in one column, and inner strengths you relied upon in another. These are all tools that are currently available in your Transition Toolbox.
There are several ways you can build from here:
- Which of these skills and attributes can help you now? Where, and how? Create some brief action steps that you can accomplish in a single setting. Schedule them in.
- Conduct an intuitive overview. Survey your list of successful transitions to give yourself a snapshot of how you approach change when you are on your game. Validate your capability and adaptability. Feel where in your body you access the resourcefulness and flexibility you need. This is your power center – let it be your base.
Tip #3: When You Resist Change, You Lose Momentum.
Whenever you build your life on unchanging routines, you lock stress into your life. You will forever be knocked off balance by new developments. This generates more stress, leading to more inflexibility! To break this cycle, ask yourself:
- What change are you resisting? (Be as specific as you can.)
- What strengths do you bring, to help you open to this situation?
- What gains can you appreciate, as you work to recognize and release the losses?
The best preparations for the unknown involve groundedness, versatility and agility. Your transitional toolbox includes your personal resourcefulness, the lessons and energy you can derive from past successful transitions, and the staples you keep on hand.
So value your autonomy, your practicality and the concrete tools you give yourself. Combined, these provide you with the strength and flexibility to move through whatever comes your way.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.