Before I went out on my own in 1999 to launch Career Strategists, I remember feeling frustrated, stuck and anxious at my job as a marketing communications director. I was ready for a big career change, I just wasn’t sure which path to take. So in keeping with my old type A, “I’m going to make this happen,” approach, I planned a vacation to Mexico with my husband and demanded that the Universe bring me the answer by the time we returned from our trip. (Sadly, my timeline and the Universe’s were not in sync.) I laugh now at how silly and audacious this seems. Yet, I also feel deep empathy for my old self who was so uncomfortable with living in the unknown she attempted to force an outcome.
Being in transition can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be painful.
Thankfully, as my family swims through unknown waters, I navigate transitions differently now than I did 20 years ago. I’m ready to evolve and am excited for what’s next–even though the next nine months look really hazy.
Here are some of the practices that help me embrace uncertainty, rather than fight it. I try and remember:
Trust the timing. I take deeply guided baby steps and follow the voice of my Wise Self , but I don’t force things to happen. I trust there is a Universal timing unfolding and when all the pieces are there, they WILL come together. I learned through years of coaching thousands of men and women through career transitions that this is always the case. You’re not ready until you’re ready.
Self-compassion changes everything. When I find myself becoming overwhelmed or generating self-defeating thoughts, I put my hand on my heart and take a deep breath. I step back and take a 30,000-foot view, assessing everything that I’ve got on my plate and acknowledging all the things I am doing well to help myself, my family and others.
How you start your day is how you do your day. No matter how rushed or packed my day is, I always take some time to enter the next 15 hours intentionally. For me, that usually looks like moving my body and then doing a 20-minute meditation to open myself up to what my heart -not just my head- most wants me to hear about how best to use my energy. Learn more.
Don’t forget to ask for support. I constantly hear my dad saying, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Letting yourself be vulnerable enough to reach out for a new perspective, some valuable mentoring, or to just admit you’re feeling lost–can be liberating and replenishing.
Give yourself what you need. I recently blogged about Radical Self-Care where I shared some of the practices I’m adopting during this time of transition. When we take the time to tune in (and respond) to what we most need-whether that be a walk after work or asking for a referral for a therapist-we befriend ourselves. We feel like we’ve got our own back.
Be kind to yourself this week and let me know what helps you through times of transition. We’re all in this together. P.S. Want more? Read 10 Things I Tell Clients in Career Transition or Why You May Need a Career Coach but Probably Don’t Know It.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. Learn more and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next event.
- Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a winter self-renewal retreat. In transition and seeking clarity/support and a weekend of deep to-the-bones renewal? Join me Jan. 24-26 at Kripalu in the MA Berkshire Mountains (highly recommended!) for my New Way of Being Retreat.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by transformational coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. 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. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her work. She’s the author of two 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 Renee here.