In 1999 right before I went out on my own to launch my first coaching/consulting firm, I remember feeling frustrated, stuck and anxious at my job as a marketing communications director. I was ready for a BIG change, I just wasn’t sure which path to take.
In keeping with my old type A, “I’m going to make this career change happen,” approach, I planned a vacation to Mexico with my fiance 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 uncertainty, she attempted to force an outcome.
Being in transition can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be painful.
The pandemic has changed how everyone thinks about everything and it’s given us the chance to practice living in the unknown (join me this Friday 9/24 for Now What?). I’ve learned that when we’re navigating uncertainty, we have two choices: be paralyzed by our feelings around “not knowing,” OR allow ourselves to open up to what’s possible. When we embrace the latter, we have the opportunity to access tremendous potential and even excitement for what could be.
Today when my friends feel stuck, I encourage them to embrace rather than fight the unknown. I remind them to:
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 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. Check out my post on Radical Self-Care where I share 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.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- Almost full! Join me in Brevard, NC, Fri., 9/24 for Now What? Tools & Practices for Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. Experience a very rare in-person mini-retreat for men/women who are in transition and asking, “What’s next?” Fri. Sept. 24 from 1:30-4:30. learn more/register (please pay in advance). Size of group limited. Enjoy a nature-based, large, airy space; masks are encouraged. Or, hire me to design a custom workshop for your team or organization. Learn more here.
- *Wild Souls Nature Adventures Events* I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains last year and I am in the process of creating magical, wild Western North Carolina-based nature/mindfulness experiences designed to reconnect you to wilderness and yourself. Learn more and sign up for my Wild Souls mailing list here). View all 2021 events here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/speaker and self-care author 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, AARP, 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 pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. Renee lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where she just launched Wild Souls Nature Adventures. Originally from Austin,TX, she and her husband are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.