Although I’m no stranger to new cities, new schools, and new situations – I attended 3 different schools growing up, moved to Texas in my first year of university, to Vancouver in my second year of university, backpacked SE Asia in 2009, moved to Victoria for grad school, am now living in Malaysia for the summer etc. etc. – change can still be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It is often accompanied by such thoughts as: Where will I live? Will I make new friends? What happens if [enter scary scenario]? What if [enter self-defeating thought]? What if its not that great or how I thought it would be? Am I ready? (jobs and travel) What if I don’t meet anyone else as great? (relationships) Blah, blah, blah STOP!! I’d be lying if I said change came really easy for me and that every time I have moved, changed jobs, got out of a relationship or started a new one, that I didn’t have some of these thoughts BUT doing 5 things has helped me tremendously:
1) Shifting my perspective by changing my thoughts to ones that excite me:
- Where will I live? becomes: Does it matter? I could be living in a tent. I’ve been camping plenty and I’ve stayed in some pretty dodgy hostels while travelling. What an adventure it will be and a great story to boot!
- Will I make friends? becomes: omg, I can’t wait to meet new people and learn about their stories.
- What happens if I lose something along the way? or what if I get robbed? or what if? what if? (all negative things or things being taken away from me)….becomes: What can I give? What if I helped at least 2 people a day? How many lives can I touch around the world? What’s one thing I can learn from every different person I come into contact with and/or every conversation I have? What can I create or help move forward?
- What if it’s not that great or how I thought it woud be? becomes: What if it’s friggin better than I could have imagined?!
- Am I ready? becomes: you are always ready, if you waited until you felt 100% ready you’d never do anything, just remember you got this.
2) Reminding myself that we don’t grow by staying where we are, period. Change is necessary for our inner evolution.
3) Reminding myself that thinking too much creates problems that don’t actually exist.
4) Remembering that you’ve done it before, so you can do it again.
5) Lastly, sticking with what I know to be true at the present moment helps keep me grounded when everything is turned on its head.
- I know I’m excited to share my current adventure in Malaysia.
- I know that the company I am working at (MindValley) is a game changer and is full of amazingly intelligent people from all over the world.
- I know that I’ve already engaged in some perspective-changing conversations. Love it.
- I know that profound shifts are happening both inside and out.
- I know that at this present moment, everything is as it should be.
Let’s re-visit that last one – at this present moment, everything is as it should be. Where ever you are, right now, is where you are suppose to be for one reason or another. If you’re going through a transition (easy or tough); whether that be a career/job change, moving locations, going on a trip, taking a leap of faith on a gut feeling, going through a break up or are just at the beginning of a new relationship, try to focus on the present moment – be aware of both the discomfort and/or the excitement that it brings. It’s all normal so don’t beat yourself up or feel that you are alone if you feel frustrated, scared, or uncertain. Instead, acknowledge it and try to find comfort in knowing that things really are happening for a reason, even if it feels like a struggle some times; you’ve created this moment and there is always a lesson to be learned. Always.
Here are 5 more tips that have helped me with transitions:
1) Load up that ipod with songs that get you feelin great and make a “change/transitions” soundtrack. One of my fav songs is Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer.
2) Be open minded. The more you resist it the harder it will be, just let it go and let it happen.
3) Don’t stop doing things that have been apart of your normal routine even if you feel like there just isn’t enough hours in a day. This includes things like reading for enjoyment, exercising regularly etc. Whatever is part of your regular routine. Continuing to do these activities no matter where you are in the world or how busy things get or how much everything around you is changing will help you feel more at ease and keep you feeling like yourself.
**This is a BIG note to myself as exercise is my anchor…I’m currently on a mission to find a gym/yoga studio asap!
4) Skype and/or visit with friends/family often. It still amazes me that I can be on the other side of the world, in a completely different time zone, but be skyping with them in a matter of minutes and we always pick up right where we left off.
5) Try not to worry about how it is all going to come together, just believe that will because it always does; maybe not the way you thought it would, but it always does. Steve Jobs articulates this amazingly in his commencement speech at Stanford when he says:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.”