Last week, I started talking about transitions in life. This week I want to focus on ways to manifest planned transitions in your life, successfully. Transitions are hard because they entail change. Our human nature thinks it functions better with conditioned responses and automated actions that require little thought. I used to be one of those people that dreaded any kind of transition because I knew my whole life would be stuck in the throes of chaos until I was able to claw my way back into any kind of routine or normalcy. The potential of planned transitions in my life – from high school to college, from college to graduate school, from graduate school to marriage, and from marriage to motherhood – was indelibly exciting, but also undeniably nerve-wracking. In the midst of all of these feelings, I had to somehow figure out how to manage not just my expectations, but also those that my near and dear placed on me (more on this in a post next week). Yet, I persevered. And, somewhere along the wayI realized that we don’t pay attention to these transitions as much as we should, precisely because we expect the chaos and uncertainty. We talk ourselves out of the time that we should be investing – in ourselves – to manifest successful planned transitions. We create our own self-fulfilling prophecies about the stress, disempowerment and uphill battles we face in our lives during these times. So, I came up with a system to see if I could somehow circumvent the expected path and create a more meaningful experience for myself. And, since then, every time I implement these tips, my planned transitions are way more profound, meaningful, and toward the exact kind of growth that I want to manifest. After this kind of success, I know I will continue to implement this system as much as I can, for the rest of my life. Here are my four most important tips, in my opinion, to make all your planned transitions successful.
1.) Connect very strongly and deeply with your “why” about your planned transitions.
The not so magical and not so secretive secret of ensuring the success of planned transitions is that since they are intentional, it means that we really want or need these changes in our life. Yet, most often we tend to forget this simple yet crucial point, and we tend to focus on the “what” and “how” of the change. This is what leads to the chaos and uncertainty.
To make sure that your planned transitions are successful, focus on the “why”. Dig in as deeply within yourself as you can to unpack all the reasons that the particular changes are imperative in your life. Once you’ve done that, keep this “why” at the forefront of your mind. Write it down somewhere. Read it and re-read it first thing in the morning, every day, as you prepare for this transition and as you go through it. This will always be your starting point, and it will be the point you come back to if you get overwhelmed. Your “why” is your inner fire. So, make sure it is always lit.
If you are stuck or struggling with this concept, I am creating a workbook on managing planned transitions that will be released at the end of this month. Message me about it if you are interested. I am confident that it will help you, just as it has helped me over the past year.
2.) Make a list of your limiting beliefs and inner criticisms about these planned transitions.
Often times, as we are going through a planned transition in our life, no matter how much we look forward to it, we also have a near constant litany in our minds about all the things about it that could go wrong. There is a consistent cacophony of “maybe I’ll fail out,” “what if I suck?”, “what if nobody likes me?” or “what if this is a huge mistake?” in our heads. This creates a cycle of negative thoughts that we can’t get ourselves out of. And, as I love to repeat over and over, the seeds that we plant and water are the ones that tend to grow. So, by not addressing our limiting beliefs and our inner critic, we actually end up setting ourselves up for failure in our planned transition. But, there is a solution.
The answer lies in writing down all of your limiting beliefs about the planned transition that you are about to go through, or that you are currently going through. Write them down so that you can see what you are telling yourself, and so that you can fully understand all the ways in which you might be holding yourself back because of self-doubt. Then, write down what the counter perspectives to these limiting beliefs are. My favorite example of this is in the image.
All of our limiting beliefs have counter perspectives that empower us to move past these roadblocks that we set for ourselves. It is up to us to invest the time and energy to find them so that we can manifest a successful planned transition in our lives, every single time. So, how will you counter your own limiting beliefs? The workbook will have exercises on this component, so stay tuned for it!
3.) Plan as many actions of change as you can, but make sure to leave room for flexibility and adaptability.
Once we know our why and have a better understanding of our limiting beliefs, then we can truthfully and intentionally focus on actions that actually propel us toward change and growth in any planned transition. Here the misstep we often make is focusing on goals rather than actions. While our planned transitions usually happen because we have some overarching goals for our personal development that drive the change process, we actually sell ourselves short by focusing on the outcomes of the transition process. By focusing on the goals, we lose sight of the path we need to travel in order to get to these goals.
To truly manifest a successful planned transition, you need to keep your goals and your why in your mind, but you need to focus on the immediate actions you need to take, along every step of your journey. Your goals may or may not be fully in your control, but, your actions are. Think about your actions strategically. Break down bigger actions into their smallest components toward the change you want to make.
The workbook has several questions that will help you crystallize the clarity of your actions. Answering these questions and more will allow you to plan down to the smallest detail you can, while still allowing yourself to be flexible to change. By being flexible, you can then keep your eyes open for any other related avenues or opportunities of growth that come up along your journey, that could add to the depth of your overall experience.
4.) Lean in to your discomfort in thoughts and actions. Consistently and persistently.
Human nature is to shy away from discomfort. But, as the old saying goes, “the bad news is that you will be uncomfortable while you are growing, but the good news is that you will be growing through your discomfort.” The times that we are uncomfortable in life, or when we experience mental pain that causes us anguish while still being physically tolerable, are the perfect opportunities and environments for tremendous learning, growth and development. We often do ourselves the greatest disservice by walking away from situations merely because they make us feel uncomfortable. In the context of planned transitions, this also often means that we don’t fully follow through on the plans we have set out for ourselves.
The trick to manifesting a successful planned transition is to be intentionally persistent, in thoughts and actions. In your thoughts, constantly examine what you are learning about yourself as you go through the discomfort of changing. For every situation, get to the root of what is making you uncomfortable and connect it back to your original imperative to change – your why. In your actions, use this connection with your “why” to stay the course. Gather data from within yourself and your environment on what worked for you, and what didn’t, on a daily basis. Remember that two or three data points aren’t going to show you any long-term trends of change and growth. So, be consistent and stay persistent through your planned transition process.
These are the four most important steps that helped me completely change my experiences with transitions in life. Using these steps I was able to navigate my way through the transitions involved in launching a business, creating a public persona, and, getting over my aversion of the spotlight to become a keynote speaker and trainer. The final piece of experiential wisdom I’d like to share in this blog post is that for me, writing everything down in a notebook was one of the biggest ways I could see where I came from and where I needed to go, without getting too distracted or derailed. So, that is why, for your convenience, I am creating a workbook to walk you through this process and to keep you on track. It will have many other tips –big and small – that helped me fine-tune my process along the way. If you would like to explore your transitions in greater depth, I would be more than happy to have a chat with you to see how I can help you manifest your own successful personal transitions in life.