How do you cope with transition?

noun: transition; plural noun: transitions

the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

How do you move through transitions? How do you cope with change? Do you stay locked in fear when life throws the rules out the window?

This past year I have been experiencing quite a bit of transition both personally and professionally. My oldest son moved out of the house and we have had to adjust to the change in family dynamic now that there are only three of us at home. I enrolled in a year-long coaching course that has been nothing but transition: letting go of old ideas and beliefs and strengthening new ones. I have begun transitioning into a new line of work and developing my own business. Now that’s a big transition. But recent changes at work have really got me thinking – how do my beliefs, my values affect my ability to cope with change and transition?

Tony  Robbins talks about the Six Human Needs: certainty, variety, significance, love/connection, growth, and contribution. We each have these needs but each of us values one higher than the other. For me, my top value is significance. I need to feel that I am making an impact on others and that I feel acknowledged for that. Right behind significance would be love and connection. If I don’t feel a connection with someone or something then it is hard for me to feel engaged.

Recently I have been challenged in the area of certainty, or the need to ensure comfort and ease. There have been many changes at work with our company splitting off from our parent company. We have new departments and processes. We have new people and systems to figure out. But we have also experienced transitions as people have left for other work. This particular transition can cause the most angst and bring out our own fears around change. We start to question if we should stay. We ask ourselves, “What did they know that I don’t?” We wonder if maybe we are choosing to stay safe instead of pushing ourselves to grow.

All of these kinds of transitions bring up long standing fears we each carry around. Fears and beliefs that were formed years ago. Fears of not being good enough or not having enough. Fear of not being liked or looking foolish. These fears and beliefs get translated into actions which in turn just cement these beliefs in our psyche.

So how can you bring a little more certainty into your life when transitions come along? You can stop and express gratitude for what you do have and what is certain in your life. For me that is thanks for a loving husband and family who supports me everyday. It’s thanks for the amazing people I get to work with everyday and the difference we are making in children’s lives.

You can take a moment to really connect with the people around you, in a truly tangible way. This can happen in the virtual realm as well as in the physical world. Can you text a friend and tell them how much you value their friendship? How about asking the clerk at the grocery store how their day is going instead of ignoring them? The next time your child asks you a question, put the phone down and really truly listen.

You can spend 10 minutes in the morning connecting to your breath and to your inner landscape through a simple meditation. Follow the rhythm of your breath or listen to a guided meditation if that helps you stay grounded.

For me, the most effective way I can bring more certainty into my life in times of transition if to recommit to spreading my message and walking my talk each and every day.

What is your top human need? What can you do to nurture that need and support it? How do you cope with transition? I would love to hear!

I have two openings for coaching if you feel called to dive a little deeper into this conversation. Contact me for a FREE session to see if this is a good fit for you.

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