Life transitions are inevitable. How can we make the most of them?
Whether we are picking up the pieces of a broken relationship, starting a new career, having kids, moving to a new place, quitting a bad habit, or beginning a good one, life transitions are a universal experience. Life is constantly changing, and navigating these transitions with grace can mean the difference between a traumatic experience and an enriching one.
How do we make sure we keep moving forward during life’s difficult changes?
1. Let Go
When we face a life transition, big or small, it can be tempting to hang onto the past. The future is uncertain. We liked the way things were. We’re afraid we won’t be able to handle something new. Whatever our reason for hanging on, we must learn to let go of the past completely. When we focus on the past and the things we wish we had, we rob ourselves of the present! This decision to let go often has to be made daily. Choose today to let go of the past and live in the present.
2. Know What’s Yours and What Isn’t
There are things in life we cannot control. Lots of things. Learning to tell the difference between what is your responsibility and what is not will give you the freedom to focus your attention on yourself. Don’t allow other people’s decisions to dominate your life or thinking. You are responsible for you. How you live, what kind of person you are, and how you impact the people around you is enough work without trying to control things you simply cannot control.
3. Embrace Possibility
Uncertainty about the future can bring anxiety. Rather than focusing on the negative possibilities, choose to focus on the positive ones. This doesn’t mean there won’t be negative outcomes, but it does mean that you won’t waste time worrying about things you have no control over. If you’re consumed by worry and anxiety, you will miss the beautiful opportunities this new season of life can bring. As philosopher and psychologist William James said, “If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” Train your mind to look for the best in this transition and you’ll be happier for it!
4. Take Care of Yourself
Life transitions are hard, some more than others. Whatever you’re dealing with—a divorce, an empty nest, a new career—it is important that you take the time to care for yourself. Do the things that leave you feeling refreshed and at peace. Read a good book, get some exercise and fresh air, brew a cup of tea, or spend time with genuine friends. You are better able to handle difficult situations when you’re mentally and physically rested and healthy.
5. Be Patient
Changes often happen suddenly and can leave us reeling. It takes time to adjust. Be patient with yourself as you find a sense of normalcy following a big life transitions. Give yourself and the people around you the time needed to build something good in this new season. Be introspective and focus on learning more about yourself. None of this time is wasted. Given the proper attention, everything you experience has the power to make you the best version of yourself.
Remember, in whatever stage of life you find yourself, you are never alone. Surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally and are always willing to speak the truth. You will come through this stronger, kinder, and wiser!