Recently I’ve been reflecting a lot about this year, or more specifically this last month. I know it’s not quite 2018 but I feel like every now and again it’s important to stop living at 100 miles an hour and take stock of what’s actually going on in your life at the particular moment. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a big fan of change. While I tell myself it’s exciting and vital to grow as a person, deep down it makes me nervous and uncomfortable. But with so much of it happening in the next few months I’ve been determined to figure out the secrets of dealing with change.
It all started this week. We arrived back from Sri Lanka (you can read about it HERE) and I went straight into freelance life. With every meeting or conversation I had, my answer to “so what’s new with you lately” was met with gasps and lots of “wow you’ve got so much going on!”. I suppose I hadn’t really thought about the scale of what actually IS going on until I had a couple of hours spare to think it over. A new career, a wedding, big house renovations and well, Christmas of course. Seeing it in black and white, I suppose it does explain why I’m so darn knackered all the time!
Keeping my head down and ticking those tasks off of the to-do list has always been my go-to for productivity but in hindsight it’s probably an attempt to avoid dealing with change. I read this fantastic feature by Stylist and number one really resonated with me. ‘Be honest with yourself’. This is probably something we’re all guilty of not doing but one of the first steps in dealing with change is a no BS approach to how you feel about everything that’s spinning around you. Not only for what’s shifting under your feet but also things that you WANT to change but have been putting it off because it’ll be uncomfortable. I hear you, it’s easier to muddle on as you were.
But as scary as every new phase in our life is, what will keep it all together is…you. With every decision that creates a reaction, breaking it down and getting through it will subtly change you in a way you might not have expected. Currently I’m in a transition phase where to be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing. But this is the beauty of dealing with change (I think!). I’m making up the rules as I go and trying to enjoy the ride with patience and without putting too much pressure on myself. We never know what’s going to happen but as the most adaptable species we can bend to new circumstances and if we fail, well, then that’s a new change we can figure out too.
Whether it’s a good or bad change, in your control or not, what we do next is what will make the biggest difference to our future, not the change itself. I know, this may be more suited to a cocktail on a Friday night rather than a coffee on a Monday morning but I hope these will help with any changes you’re juggling at the moment.
DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE OUTCOME
If it’s a new job or moving house, it’s easy to visualise what you want to achieve but dealing with change when it’s out of your control is tricker. But, the key is to try and think of the best outcome you want to get to in the long run. When you feel powerless getting informed and finding out all of your options is the only way to put yourself back in the drivers seat.
SURROUND YOURSELVES WITH THE FAMILIAR
When there’s nothing but change around you, having an anchor in the form of what’s typical can stop you from spinning. As someone who has been used to structure Mon-Fri I’m having to try and get used to no two days being the same which is really exciting but daunting at the same time. So, I try to keep some small things the same like getting up at the same time, seeing friends and family as much as possible and making time for myself.
GIVE YOUSELF A BREAK
The one thing we are brilliant at is giving ourselves a hard time. I know I feel frustrated with myself if I’m feeling out of sorts or having trouble adapting to what’s going on. But the reality is that some people aren’t as flexible as others and that’s fine, we all have to take our own time getting used to the new situation. Dealing with change isn’t instant or easy and although it can be exciting and liberating it’s that level of uncertainty that leaves us wide awake at 2am scrolling through The Daily Mail. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to lean into every feeling that crops up, sit with it and give it the time to develop into something you’re more comfortable with.
“As scary as every new phase in our life is, what will keep it all together is…you”
SHOP THE POST