Life is full of twists and turns on the path. Some trails you follow are “good”, while others make you wonder how you could choose something that could be so “bad”.
Getting married, getting divorced, moving to a new city, having children, receiving a promotion, taking a sabbatical, losing your job, starting a new business, buying a house, receiving a life-changing health diagnosis ― all have the power to rock your world. Each one can either spark moments of joy, create confusion, or put you in a total funk.
At a deep level, we know these transitions are necessary to live the authentic, whole, deep lives we’re longing for. We know that the darkness always blossoms into a time of incredible creativity and happiness. We know that on the other side will be some of our best times. Nonetheless, they’re still really hard.
Today, I want to share with you the most common mistakes women tend to make (myself included) while moving through a transition — and what you can do instead. This post isn’t written to help you get through your transition more quickly (it’s going to take as long as it needs to take), but rather to help you identify where you’re getting tripped up so that you can tap into your strength instead of always feeling chaos reigns in your life.
3 Mistakes You Might Be Making When Moving Through a Transition:
1.) You’re trying to move through a transition too quickly. You want to get from point A to point B and on the other side as soon as possible. You like answers, plans, and to-do lists. You value efficiency and effectiveness. This way of being has a time and a place, but can really hold you back when moving through a transition — you have to allow it more time and space.
Most people would tell you that “change takes time,” but it’s the transition that requires days, weeks, months, even years. Think about it, you get the job, move into the house, or have a baby. Most often these changes happen quickly and are situational shifts. Transition, on the other hand, is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and welcoming the way they’re going to be moving forward. Whereas the change itself may go immediately from old to new, the transition always requires a surprising amount of time.
I’ve moved over thirty times in my life. Every time I lived in one house one day and in another the next. The change of moving always happened fairly quickly, we’d pack up, drive, unpack, and be done. But I never felt at home right after arriving in the new house. It took a lot of time and as I look back the transition often started in those last weeks in the old house.
Take a moment and think about your current transition. When did it start? Do you feel like you’re trying to get to the finish line or “get it over with”? If so, see if you can give yourself (and your transition) space, time, and patience. You’re letting something go and welcoming something new in — this takes time.
2.) You’re missing the (right) lessons. Think about a transition you recently went through. What were the lessons? If you’re drawing a blank or your heart feels closed off to the wisdom gleaned, pay close attention to this mistake.
Often, we look at past experiences as failures rather than seeing that even the worst of circumstances will always bear gifts that fuel our growth. But when we view these experiences as a failure or worse yet, see ourselves as a failure, we miss the lessons or learn the wrong ones. Anytime a lesson makes you feel less loving, it’s the wrong lesson and probably came from the “failure” mentality.
Let me give you an example of this. Recently I went through a transition with a friend where I felt really hurt. The lesson could have been, “stay away from that kind of person,” or “it’s not safe to trust,” or “keep your guard up.” But when you read these statements how do you feel? I definitely feel closed off, unhappy, and kind of icky.
What if instead the lesson was, “create better boundaries,” or “be more aware,” or “communicate your needs.” With these lessons, I feel clear, grateful, and my heart is open. I feel kindness for myself and the other person.
Check-in with yourself and see if the lessons you’re gleaning open or close your heart. If it’s the latter, see if you can move into gratitude for the transition immediately instead of beating yourself up for it.
3.) You’re suffering alone. You think, “I’m the only one who…” or “I shouldn’t feel this way…” As a result, you stay silent. The guilt, the shame, the embarrassment all keep you holding back the tears, playing down what you’re going through, and suffering alone. But guess what? There’s someone out there who has been through a similar transition to yours. The characters and the location are different, but the story is the same.
It’s time for you to break the silence and get support! As the brilliant Brené Brown said, “Shame needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment.” Open up about what you’re going through, be vulnerable, and tell the truth. When you do, you’ll discover that others have had similar experiences and feelings. You’ll see that you aren’t alone.
Take time today to call a girlfreind, reach out to a family member, get professional support, take a workshop… do whatever it takes and stop being a lone wolf!
Whatever your transition may be, I want you to know I’m here for you. I believe when you quiet the noise, and receive the inner and outer support your soul is craving this will bring about the change you desire in your life.
May you get the inner and outer support you need this week.
Warm hugs and big love,