Well, it’s been a while since my last post on how to mentally prepare for a major transition. That’s because I’ve been following my own advice on how to keep your balance when your world turns upside down. Well, most of the time….
Was this major life shift planned? Yes.
Did I underestimate just how scary it would be? Yes!
Did I stay calm, objective and stress free throughout? No, there have been lots of what the hell was I thinking moments!
Was it worthwhile? Absolutely!
Could I have done it alone? No – my support team have been my life jacket!
It’s so easy for thoughts of failure and self doubt to suck you into a stress spiral when you’re facing the unknown.
These are some of the survival tools I’ve used recently:
- When I’m surrounded by a sea of advice (not all of it helpful or relevant) and the ground beneath my feet is anything but firm, I don’t lose sight of what’s going right.
- As reality has been doing a lot of shape shifting, I’ve adapted and often discarded many of my conditioned beliefs and responses, to suit a radically different set of circumstances.
- Living in the present and taking one step at a time has become my most important survival skill. Since anxiety comes from living in the past or the future, I can only read my inner compass accurately when I’m fully present right here, right now.
- I practice extreme self care, especially when it’s the last thing I feel like doing.
- I remember to celebrate every milestone, no matter how small. It gives me a sense of achievement.
- And every time I feel my anxiety levels start to rise, this Instant Stress First Aid exercise gets me back on track.
Breathe! Focus completely on slow, even, rhythmic breathing. This breaks the momentum when the stress spiral is at its weakest.
Reframe! Use your mental zoom-out key. Get perspective! The stressful situation is only part of the bigger picture.
Evaluate objectively! Don’t take it personally. Don’t let your emotions hijack your brain.
Act mindfully! No knee jerk reactions.
Time out. Interrupt the momentum. Change focus. Walk away – mentally, emotionally—and physically if possible.
How do I solve this? When emotional stability has been restored, ask “what solution serves me best right now?” Do research and get a mentor’s opinion. There may be a solution you’re just not seeing.
My journey is unique.
Your journey is unique.
So what if it isn’t as big, bold, visible or dramatic as someone else’s—yet? Just keep moving forward and celebrating each step of the way.
What’s helped you survive radical change?