3 things I remember when I’m in transition

Tran·si·tion.   tranˈziSH(ə)n,tranˈsiSH(ə)n/. noun   1. the process or a period of changing from one state of being or condition to another

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I reconnected with some friends over the weekend and it seems just about everyone I know is facing a big transition. My friend Rachel’s last day at the job she could no longer stomach is this Wednesday. Ruth, a consultant, just lost her big, long-term client and is not sure how she’s going to support her family. Eric’s post-cancer perspective is causing him to question whether he’ll be able to return to his rote accounting job, and a whole swarm of my self-employed friends are doing some deep soul-searching around, “What is uniquely mine to do?”

Most shared they find themselves vacillating between fear-gripping terror and absolute exhilaration at the prospect of doing something completely new and exciting. I can relate.

Like my friends, I am also feeling a pull to shift how I do what I do in the decade to come. And, it helps that I’ve been here before (not only have I navigated two major career changes but I also spent 15 years helping thousands of men and women do the same).

Perhaps you’re facing some big life or career questions or navigating some discomfort or fear of the unknown?  Pause. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Here are three things that help me re-frame when I’m in the midst of a big transition:

#1 I lovingly remind myself that I am being prepared for what is to come. Things may look chaotic, but I believe there is a supreme order and plan to what is unfolding in my life. Everything is compost.

#2 Giving birth is messy and wonderful and exhilarating. In all my years of career coaching, I’ve never known transitions to be clean, smooth or easy.  Expecting them to be will just lead you to suffering.

#3 I’ve outgrown my old self. Continuing to do what I’ve done, the way I’ve always done it, would be like wearing a size 7 shoe when I know I’m an 8. It’s time to let go.

More than ever, this is a time to invite in oceans of self-compassion. Not only are most of us looking at big, radical personal and professional transitions, but the entire world is in flux—on so many levels. We’re in the midst of unprecedented change. And that’s a lot to digest and assimilate, no matter who you are. Want more? Read A Note to My Friends in Transition.

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Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau. President of Career Strategists, Renee is passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance, including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.