It doesn’t matter what season you’re in, there’s always something exciting about the next transition. In winter, you can’t wait to see the buds on the trees come spring. When spring arrives, you can’t wait for the warm (not raining!) summer weather. Then summer comes and you can’t wait for the crisp, crunchy leaves of fall. And, finally, when autumn rolls around, you can’t wait for the cozy vibes of a winter snow day.
It’s human nature. We’re always looking forward to the next time and we want what we can’t have. The grass is always greener, so to speak. And we grasp so tightly to “how it was” that the transitions are especially anxiety-provoking. You may be clinging to those transitions in life, business, or both.
Personally, right now, I’m finding it challenging to transition between “normal” and the “new normal” that is coming with all things COVID. We’re forced to learn and navigate new ways of being so quickly that even the most graceful of transitioners are a little splattered.
Thinking about these periods naturally makes me think of what it means to be patient and what it means to see the good in our present circumstances.
When we make a decision to move away from behaviors and circumstances that don’t fulfill us (like not being able to be as fully focused on my health and wellness right now, in my case), it can be challenging to find ourselves in new situations that aren’t exactly how we’d like them (think: setting up a home gym). We are so excited to reach our ideal situation (in this case, getting back to what a “normal” routine looked like pre-COVID) that we find ourselves frustrated and discontent with anything that’s not consistent with our new vision of life.
Times of transition can be challenging, and how we feel when we are in them is often what makes us give up and turn back. We think to ourselves, “This isn’t what I thought I was signing up for at all. I didn’t think when I dreamed of expanding my team and ability to serve more clients that hiring and training everyone would be such a firehose of information and changes!”
But just like this period we’re in right now, transitions are a time of exciting changes and investments. Things are moving and changing and growing. And while they aren’t usually clean and easy or quick, they are vital to reaching our ultimate goal. After all, without a little patience and understanding, we wouldn’t have the beautiful payoff. Think of it like without April showers, we wouldn’t have nearly as many beautiful May flowers.
So then, what can we do to prevent a painful transition from ruining the opportunity to achieve our greatest dreams and goals? Good question. Here are a few mindset shifts that will help you ease the tension and possibly even make your transition painless. The more you practice, the easier it will be!
As soon as you decide to make a change in your life – whether it is a behavior that is no longer serving you, or something in your environment, such as your house or a relationship – you enter a transition.
It’s important to know that it happens that quickly, and that it is perfectly OK. After all, you can’t get to where you are going unless you travel through transition.
Mindset is everything! It’s at the basis of every decision we make and every transition we go through. Recognizing that you’re in it will allow you to be in the mindset of choice. Remember that things aren’t happening to you, you’re choosing them to happen for you right now.
One of the reasons that transition can be so painful is that we don’t want to experience it! For the same reasons hiring a team can feel unpleasant if you let it, so can the uncertainty inherent in transition. After all, you are GROWING and changing. And as I recall, growing pains in adolescence weren’t always pleasant.
However, by staying present with whatever comes during transition, and setting the intention to take each day one at a time, you allow your brain to process one new change in each moment as it happens.
When you check out and shut down in an effort to escape whatever you are experiencing, you create undue stress (and you don’t need more of that when you’re in a time of transition). Also, by grasping and ignoring what’s happening, you’re forcing your brain to process 100 new things in one swoop when you could have been working on it bit by bit. Trust me, that’s a sure-fire recipe for a real meltdown.
I know. You can’t believe I said it – your least favorite word next to failure! But it’s true. Transitions are an excellent time for you to practice growing in patience. Also, be kind to yourself and make sure you are getting rest, an extra restorative yoga stretching here and there, or whatever helps to take care of your body and mind in the midst of the intense change.
I’m not suggesting that you do things to escape, but instead to nourish your body, mind, and soul so that the uncertainty you are experiencing is balanced with activities that help you feel safe and secure.
After all, your brain likes as much security and balance as possible. When you practice self-care, you’re showing your body that it is physically okay (in other words, there’s no bodily danger lurking about), which makes it easier for your system to be present to what’s happening in the moment.
There are days when it’s hard for me to see the good in everything that’s happening, but there are most certainly real benefits to it as well. And even though it’s a cliche, it’s true that what we focus on grows. So the more gratitude we can express during a time of transition, the better!
I recommend a gratitude journal if you don’t already own one. Whenever you want to rail against the moon in frustration about all of these circumstances you can’t control, just pick up your journal and start writing. You’ll feel better.
Transitional periods are often times of stress and anxiety. But we can ease that tension (and even make it fun) by staying present, taking care of yourself, and consciously choosing to look for the opportunities to stay open to positivity. The next time you find yourself in a transition, remember these four simple mindset shifts to help reframe this turbulent time and stay graceful in the face of pressure.