How to get back into a flow and feel empowered during transitions
Life can throw us disruption in the blink of an eye or over a long, hard road that appears to be never-ending. A feeling that you need to leave a job, a pass on a promotion, a harsh work environment, or a bully boss – these situations can create chaos in our daily life and soul. This disruption shows up in a way that what you gave energy to, what you gave meaning to, what you believed was real and important is no longer there. Or, if you feel like you aren’t lost but you don’t know what is next, you have meaning in your life but the clarity of what is on the horizon is unclear. You are in transition. Both a disruptive and transition scenario can feel like an eternity. How do you get to the other side? How do you feel a flow and energy within yourself again? How do you get back into the driver’s seat and gain clarity?
These scenarios can be excruciating because the clarity around next steps takes time to unfold. When a situation seems unbearable or hard, we naturally want progress and clarity to come quickly. However, this time offers the opportunity to practice patience, explore what you want to create for yourself next, reconfirm the belief in your value and strengths that you offer, and trust that the Universe is offering you options to create new paths for yourself. This is a time to embrace and embody the belief that you are strong, capable, and have distinguishing qualities that are needed in this world.
When I was unclear about my options but I knew something needed to change, I used certain tools to remind me that I had the power to initiate actions, gain clarity, and create new paths. My hope is that this list provides you ideas of what may work best for you.
Clarity tools: I find during transitions it helps to create actions in addition to being reflective. Here are some tools that helped me shift my perspective and remember the power within me to influence change.
I created goals about how and who I wanted to spend my time with at work so my next role better aligned with what was important to me. Initially, I used a list of what I didn’t want. This helped me begin to think about what an opposite scenario would look like. For example, I didn’t want to work with manipulative, selfish, and unethical leaders. So, the opposite was … I am working with collaborative, ethical leaders who are driven by doing what is best for the people, the clients, and the business.
I listed different areas of my life where I wanted to create more consistent and meaningful experiences. Work is very important to me and I can be a workaholic. I wanted to create more depth and range of experiences in my life. I wanted to travel more, to enjoy cultural and arts events, and to focus on my health. I wrote out goals in categories such as physical health, travel, my growth and development, entertainment, and spiritual health. After doing this exercise, an opportunity came to me to visit a dear friend in Africa. I explored two new countries, saw cultures that expanded my thinking about the definitions of family, safety, poverty and dictatorships, and I went gorilla trekking. It was an amazing experience that I invited into my life when declaring my goals.
I journaled in the morning as a way to listen to myself, empty out my doubts, and declare what I wanted to bring into my life (my first journaling book was The Artist Way by Julia Cameron). Journaling helped me realize how much I was playing into a victim mentality and being caught in the swirl of what was being done to me versus standing tall and acting on what I could do for myself.
I worked with a coach to identify my superpower strengths as well as environments, people, and roles that aligned with my values and purpose. This was game-changing for me and helped me connect with a mentor who offered me a new role, leaving a toxic work situation behind.
I talked with trusted friends and colleagues. I asked them to share what they thought I did best, what were the challenges they saw me struggle with, what they saw me doing in the near future. Sometimes it is hard to see what is in front of us. Someone who can be honest with us out of love and respect can offer crucial insights.
Self-Care Tools: Transitions take time. This time can create doubt, stir up fears, and force you to be critical of yourself. Time is not the only indicator of success or failure during a transition. What you do with the time during a transition can cause success or setbacks. Using your self-care tools to stay grounded and maintain your confidence is key. What I have witnessed is that if you are spinning too fast in your head and feeling frenzied, you can’t hear what is best for you. The Universe has no way of communicating in a way that you can hear unless it is a big boom.
I used daily intentions and devotions (Answered Prayers: Love letters from the Divine by Julia Cameron, Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay, Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie where helpful tools for me)
I read spiritual books (The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss)
I read fictional, inspirational books (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce)
I listened to great live music and comedians (like Wanda Sykes, Gypsy Kings, and U2)
I started meditating not only in the morning but before bed (my favorite meditations are by Tara Brach, www.tarabrach.com)
I exercised not only to maintain my health but to remind myself of my strength and get out of my head (yoga, walk, HIIT cardio)
I spent a lot of time playing in nature to serve as a reminder that the world is bigger than me and there is beauty all around. I did hikes, swimming in the ocean, playing in the dirt in my yard.
When we find ourselves in a space where we aren’t sure what is ahead and we hope it is something better than today, there are actions we can take to help ourselves while waiting for the next door of life to open for us. This time is not a waiting game. This time is about getting to know something more about yourself, remembering that you have much within your control to focus on, that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your next path. A daily focus on actions that create a brighter and stronger you invites you to get through this transition more empowered and clear about your purpose and the impact you were meant to create in the world.
Janeen Shaffer is a PCC certified coach helping individuals and leaders with their internal development and external performance. If the article resonated with you, follow me on LinkedIn and check my other articles. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shaffercoach.com, IG @janeen.shaffer, Pinterest Shaffer Coaching + Consulting.