9 gifts I’ve uncovered while living in the unknown

Are you moving through a career change,  health crisis or relationship challenge?  Are you in a big life transition and asking “What’s next?”  Do things seem particularly intense for you right now?  For many of us it feels as if we’re headed into a brave, new frontier without a map, and we’re being asked to evolve and create new tools for navigating this new unknown landscape as we go.

career change

If you take a bird’s eye view, there’s not doubt that collectively we’re facing unprecedented levels of change, uncertainty and chaos. In this time when economic and political volatility has become a mainstay, we’re juggling parenting our parents, navigating career changes, dealing with the realities of globalization and climate change, fighting off digital overwhelm and the list goes on.

In addition to all these outward changes, we’re also being called to transform internally.  Humanity is undergoing huge consciousness shifts and many of us are feeling the call to evolve and embrace a new way of being.

Across the board, the majority of my friends, colleagues, clients —and my own family, as well—are navigating uncertainty and experiencing some type of transition right now. So how do we keep our sanity—not to mention sense of inner peace—in the face of so much change?

For many of us, living in the unknown can often feel worse than receiving actual “bad news” (i.e. news that is contrary to what we want!). It can conjure up the old “waiting for the other shoe to fall” feeling. It can feel unsettling, elicit overwhelm and challenge the illusion that we’re in charge!

Last night after dinner my husband and I talked about this theme. Yes, we agreed, change can bring up all types of fears. But, if you’re willing to keep breathing and stay with this feeling, there is also a place within the unknown that is exhilarating, fresh and filled with potential and re-birth. If you can move out of “paralysis by analysis,” living in the unknown can be an incredible opportunity for spiritual, personal and professional growth. Sometimes I think we need the reminder that it’s ok to outgrow your old clothes and try on something you never thought was your style. Who knew there were gifts that could come from swirling uncertainty?!

Living in the unknown can provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Examine your values (what’s most important to you?) and be willing to explore life from the inside out
  • Practice gratitude: giving thanks for all you do have; a daily gratitude practice shifts your mood faster than anything else!
  • Identify your anchors and what you need to truly rejuvenate and deeply nourish yourself
  • Practice mindfulness and live more in the present moment; right here, right now is the only true stress-free zone
  • Explore your contemplative side: step back and take time to reflect and examine your fears and barriers to success
  • Pause and examine how you see things (do you play the “what if” up game or the “what if” down game; are you an optimist or a pessimist?)
  • Build a support network: get comfortable asking for and receiving help (read more)
  • Imagine the possibilities: are you open to expanding into an even better life/job/relationship/business than you ever imagined?
  • Serve others, volunteer: nothing pulls us out outside of ourselves faster that working in a soup kitchen
  • Feel so you can heal: breath work, yoga, conscious movement are essential tools for navigating uncertain times (read more)

Are you willing to explore the gifts that come from being in a state of limbo? Life is continually shifting: chaos, order, chaos and so on. This week I’m playing with the concept of being just as comfortable with the wild unknown as I am with those forces in my life that ground me. My mantra these days? It’s all compost.

career change


  • Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years and my clients include Fortune 500 companies, national conferences, nonprofits and organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com to discuss your next event.
  • Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a fall self-renewal retreat. Women who attend my retreats always leave saying, “I had no idea how much I needed that!” View all upcoming fall retreats here.
  • We’re hiring! Know an Austin-based college student or SAH mom who might want to work with our team? We have a fall women’s empowerment communications internship open (learn more). If you know an English, Journalism, PR or Communications undergrad who might be a fit, send them our way! We also have a part-time virtual communications assistant position available-ideal for a parent seeking meaningful work they can do from home.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker and Career Strategists president Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience 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 17-year-old son. More on her background here.

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