There are times in life when it might seem like you’re always in transition mode.
You’re looking for a new job, or you’re ending a business relationship, or you’re simply trying to find new meaning and purpose. It’s not always easy because anything new and unknown is also unpredictable and can lead to confusion. We know from brain scientists that new experiences require more serious thought and brainpower — we have to work harder mentally.
Being in transition isn’t always a bad thing, however. I’ve learned to embrace the journey as unique and unusual. You may never pass this way again. It is better to enjoy transitions,
especially things like starting a new job because they will stand out in your life.
That said, we can all use a little guidance. Here are a few practical tips to help you through a life transition and make it a little less stressful and rocky.
1. Hold tightly to what you really want
Transitions in life are hard because they present so many options and opportunities. It feels like the world has opened up to you, but the world is a big place. That’s why it’s so important to cling tightly to what you know to be true and what you really want.
One example of this? Let’s say you won’t budge on where you live. You are averse to any relocation effort. That’s totally fine! Knowing you don’t want to move to a new city under any
circumstances is like the ballast on a ship — it keeps you grounded. Everything else might be wide open and a possibility, but at least you know one thing won’t change.
2. Remember it’s temporary
I mentioned how it’s okay to embrace a transition. If you were promoted to a new job, it’s okay to relish that and enjoy the process. You do have a lot to learn, and there are many challenges, but it is also an amazing experience and you will grow as a person. The key to any transition is to remember it is temporary — we’re talking a few weeks or months.
Eventually, you will fall into a routine and you’ll discover a new normal. Transitions are a bridge from one experience in life
to another, and where you end up will soon feel ordinary, not so extraordinary.
3. Conflict is not always negative
Every transition has conflict. When I moved to a new city a few years ago, there were quite a few challenges. Some of them were financial and some were personal, but any new change in life is bound to create some confusion. You will develop new relationships and face problems that seem insurmountable at first. However, not all conflict is negative.
Those new people you are meeting and those financial pressures might end up being a springboard to finding purpose and meaning, and they might even lead to improving your life and making it even richer.
4. Focus on the outcome
Through any transition, especially those that are work-related, keep your focus squarely on what is to come. Imagine how life will be like when you get used to the new job or the new business venture. Think about the positives you expect and the results to come.
Look up from the weeds — the logistics and decisions, the complexity and the chaos — and scan the horizon. You will find that focusing on the outcomes and the new reality helps you through the transition.