Navigating Change

which way

This article is especially useful during these times of uncertainty, fear and overload.

Change Is Inevitable
Life doesn’t follow a straight path. By nature change is something different, something unfamiliar. Major changes (divorce, retirement, career change or an empty nest) can throw us off balance–even when we know the transition is coming!  And if the event elicits strong emotions, particularly anger, sadness or hidden fears, it can easily diminish our ability to think clearly. We struggle to move forward.


• Change is part of everyday life and must be navigated

• Change elicits strong emotions that interfere with our ability to navigate the situation

• We’re often unaware of the extent of this interference

• Change can lead to significant growth or new paths

• Outside resources can be extremely beneficial when navigating transitions

Navigating Emotions
This is a normal reaction. Even minor changes can interfere with our thought process if we get caught up in all the “what ifs” and fail to see the possibilities.

But every transition, big or small, must be navigated. You must first allow yourself to recognize your emotions and more importantly, validate these emotions. Rational or not, your feelings are real and meaningful to you. Denying them won’t bring you out of the crux any faster. Emotions can, however, hold you hostage, especially if they become your sole driving force. If you’re facing any major loss, or finding yourself in deep despair (severe anxiety, depression, etc.), seek a trained counselor or therapist to help you manage the loss. Many are available via Tele-counseling.  Telecoaching is also available. In addition to providing workshops, Susan is a trained family and life coach.  Here is a link on what to expect from coaching.

Change & Growth
Thankfully most of the changes we face, while stressful, are not as catastrophic as we fear. At the end of the journey, the results often surprise us. And if you allow room for it, change can eventually lead to growth. Indeed, some of the most successful business leaders not only prepare for change, they welcome it—recognizing change is both inevitable and valuable.

Managing Change Basics
To navigate your transition, start with those emotions. Try to recognize those hidden feelings that may be hindering your opportunities. Next, make a list of all the potential outcomes. Which outcomes are most likely to happen? Which outcome would you prefer? What steps can you take to move you toward that outcome? Finally, create a support list of friends, family, support groups, professionals and useful resources that can help guide you. If you need assistance, and you’re not comfortable with the idea of counseling, a life coach is an excellent alternative.  A trained coach can help you move past the emotion and fear, and determine your next steps through goal setting.

An extensive series of articles related to stress management and resiliency are full of insight and stress reduction techniques. Have a more specific question or concern? Send me an email. If I can’t help you, I’ll try to find a resource that can.