How to survive the uncertainty and discomfort of transformation and change
I had no idea where to, but I knew that I’d be moving soon. I did know that the move was intertwined with my purpose and life’s work, kind of like a rite of passage. I began to prepare for this imminent mysterious relocation in ways that perhaps a nesting expectant mum might, but in the opposite vein. My house and everything inside the property suddenly came under scrutiny. Instead of buying things, organizing and creating a comfortable, safe and secure nest, I was ripping up and dismantling, emptying, unravelling 15 years’ worth of home, memories, belongings and of course stuff! I donated, discarded, detangled and detached. A tough, deep yet necessary process that began a year before the actual date that my children and I pulled away in the taxi in the early hours of that cold, dark December British morning of 2014. Destination. Tropical Goa, India. Home for the last four years.
As you upgrade and transform, things as you know them will change too. To shift into an aligned space to match what you are seeking to improve or create, life must sometimes crumble and fall to make space for the next, better, more upgraded version. The more we resist, the more abruptly these times can hit us. The mistake we often make is to want or need the new to be here now, before we can muster the courage to let go of the old and outdated. We often wait for the terrain to be stable and visible before we say yes to the opportunity or take the first step. We have a deep necessity as humans, a “need to know”. We thrive on certainty and security and when we don’t have that it can be highly uncomfortable, sometimes debilitating.
It makes total sense to require comfort to be able to thrive. Comfort is synonymous with certainty, safety and security, but not with radical change. The uncertainty and discomfort that can come about in the deep transformational phases, can often prove too intense to bear, causing a premature quitting and reverting to the known, the comfortable and the familiar. We deal with a myriad of emotions, fear being a huge one. While we must acknowledge the profound effects this can have, it does not need to always end in disappointment. With conscious and deliberate management of the process, you can set yourself up for successful, joyful and lasting transformations. Here are three of my teachings to help you along as you keep putting one foot in front of the other on your path to actualizing your dreams, desires and highest potential.
Create comfort within the discomfort
To succeed and progress we must begin to spend much more time in our ‘discomfort zone’. New ways of thinking, fresh habits, changes to our routines, environment and relationships are all happening simultaneously. To grow and evolve you must do, be, think and act differently. Different is often uncomfortable. A large portion of this discomfort is rooted in our mind though. Our mind is powerful but we can override it if we are clever! Stagger your changes, replace old with new gradually and partake in at least one activity per day that snaps you right back into your yummy comfortable state in both body and mind. Allowing time each day to cozy back up and de-stress within an activity that requires little thinking and provides much joy, will give you a well-earned break from your discomfort zone, time to re-configure your brain and body chemistry and dupe the mind and into feeling safe! My favorite comfort zone inducer during such times is to watch an episode of the sitcom ‘FRIENDS’, gets me every time. You can pick anything that is like second nature to you. For some it may be a sweat inducing run, for others a chat with a friend and others their favorite meal from childhood. Creating some comfort each day in this way will allow you to survive and then of course thrive way into the success zone of your change or goals.
Create a bubble
Times of change can leave us extra tired, vulnerable and more sensitive. There’s a lot going on and the additional mind activity and emotional strain mean we are by default likely to be in a weakened state. Your state is made up of your thoughts, emotions, what you consume by way of food, media and other audiovisuals. Consciously opting for more nourishing foods, plenty of fresh water and nurturing movement is a good framework to instill at such times. The company we keep also affects our energy levels and, also our state of mind. Taking extra time for self-care and rest is paramount as is creating a protective bubble around yourself to ward off any naysayers, critics or doubters. The last thing you’ll need is added pressure from people who do not support you or understand your desire, dream or passion. During times of transformation, your mindset can literally be the make or break, if your mind is against you then you’ll struggle to complete the desired transformation or goals. Practicing five minutes of positivity in the morning, afternoon and night time can be enough to make a measurable mark. Be honest with yourself about what is unhelpful and unsupportive and resolve to put yourself and your success first, at least for the duration of the conversion.
Things are always working in your favor, trust the process
This tip is a little more intangible. It’s not a tip per se, but more of a heads up. This one takes a little bit of digging around inside to understand. Ultimately, the issue that I see most often that blocks the transformation process is fear. It can manifest in many different guises and often we take them each at face value. We become convinced of the truth of our excuses and allow them to get in the way of us even starting let alone completing a radical upgrade. The truth is, if life has brought us the idea or inspiration then it can also bring to us the strength and resources required to actualize it. Since we are evolutionary by nature, which means we are naturally wired to desire the next better version, the desires that we have, if progressive by their nature, are given to us as breadcrumbs towards our next chapters. As well as fear, the process can also be quashed by doubt, and generally we doubt our own selves and our ability to make good decisions as well as our ability to perform or follow through. Simply put though, you can never really make a wrong decision especially if it is fueled by a deep yearning or even a heartfelt fleeting urge for something better. Whichever way you turn, however you decide to proceed, things are always working in your favor because you can’t lose, you can only learn.
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