Once we have moved through the ‘letting go’ process, we find ourselves in the second phase of change. This is the period of emptiness and uncertainty. This is also called the transitional time – the time between letting go of the old and fully embracing and adapting to the new. During this time you may feel like you are lost. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know what is expected of you. This is unfamiliar territory. Nothing feels the same. The old is gone, the new is unknown and you are in between.

Like a farmer, it is the time that the fields appear to lay barren, but in reality they are becoming nutrient rich for the next crop. This is your opportunity to become nutrient rich. As you review the following ideas, select one or two that you can commit to as you move through the transitional phase of change. If you do, you will be enriching your spirit, your mind, your future relationships, and your skills. And implementing these ideas will make this phase easier to undergo.

1.Do something that makes you feel in control. (And we’re not talking about holding the television remote!). Don’t sit around making excuses about why you can’t do something, just give it a try. Be sure that you choose a project that gently pushes your energy level – and more importantly, one that you can accomplish. Stick to it until you finish.

2.Take stock of your life and choose one or two areas to focus on that can greatly impact your future success. Take action. Take an on-line course, sign up for a language class. Or a dance class. Study other religions. Learn to type using all your fingers! Whatever you do, give it your best effort.

3.Think bigger and bolder. Daydream. Visualize yourself immensely successful. See yourself in a new light. Create a collage of your best self. Your aspirations. Your talents.

4.Do not confuse the present with the past. Remind yourself, in spite of past reactions to change, you are older, more mature, and wiser. You have the skills you need to not just survive, but to thrive during this newest change.
5.Accept that this is an awkward stage. Ask for patience and support from people who are in your corner. Ask them to be patient, but not to let you become complacent.

The transitional time of change is an opportunity to evaluate any previous decisions you might have made. What did you learn? What should you learn in order to prevent a similar experience from happening? What will youdo differently the next time you are in a related situation?

Curt Canada is a Career and Life Coach in Glover Park DC at FindingYourZenith.

You know that you will survive change. We’ve all lost someone via an accident, a family member through a death, a marital separation, a loss of a prosperous career, or a home in an environmental disaster. You’ve had plenty of practice in life making small and large adjustments. You are equipped with all the skills you need. You just may need to hone some of those skills. Knowing the three stages of change can help you understand what you have gone through during previous changes in your life. I assure you it will take some time but you must begin somewhere. Keep also in mind that each and every individual that encounters change responds so differently!

‘Letting Go’ Stage of Change

The first step of change can sometimes be the most painful. In order to move through the change process you will have to let go of something. Something must come to an end. This could be the end of a relationship, end of a job, end of security, or the end of an unfulfilled dream. We must at some point let go of the past to be able to accept and prepare for change.

It is hard on our human nature to let go of what is familiar – even when the old might not serve us well. During the letting go process we usually go through a grieving process. The more attached we are to the old, the more we will grieve.

Most grief professionals and coaches agree that the grieving process consists of five stages:

•Denial – Believing that this is “just a dream” or “just a phase”. It’s really not happening.
•Bargaining – Believing that we can negotiate our way back to how things used to be.
•Anger – Feeling intensely about how “unfair” the situation is. We may even experience anger toward other people, believing, it’s their fault.
•Sadness – Feeling lost, alone, or vulnerable. Sometimes this can deepen into depression and requires professional help.
•Acceptance – Realizing that things will not go back to the way they were. You are now ready to move forward.

The order of the stages may shift and you may vacillate from one to the other and back (from anger to sadness and back to anger). The important lesson for you is that you understand that these feelings are normal and are necessary to complete the grieving process. If you find yourself stuck in the grieving process at any step of the way, engage the services of a professional counselor, clergy, or coach to give you guidance.

TBContinued in the next post!

Curt Canada coaches clients around life and work related challenges at FindingYourZenith in Washington DC. Schedule a consultation today..email Curt at coachingconsultant@comcast.net