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.

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Asking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful. Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationship—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:

1. Get Clear.

Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have. For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a real task unto itself. Here, it may be useful to ask: “In an ideal world, what would I like to happen?” Focusing on an ideal outcome opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or “victim-thinking,” and helps us get really clear on what we want and don’t want.

2. Set Boundaries.

Once you know what outcome you need (or want), share it with your partner. Pay attention to the way stating your boundary feels in your body. With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the “sweet spot.” It can feel really pleasurable, even exhilarating, to express your needs or desires out loud. Phrases like “such and such doesn’t work for me” are simple ways of being assertive while maintaining connection with your partner.

3. Make a Regular Habit of Stating Your Needs and Desires
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You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle: exercise. Practice speaking up about your needs, big or small, on a daily basis. When you speak up about things that are less controversial—such as where to go to dinner, requesting help unloading the dishwasher or what TV program to watch—both you and your partner get used to your assertiveness. It becomes easier for you to practice and for your partner to hear. Also, when bigger issues come along, you and your partner will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs, and you’ll have greater confidence in the resilience of your partnership.

4.Give as Much as You Get.

Assertiveness is a two-way street. If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must return the courtesy to your partner. If she doesn’t want you to use the bathroom when she’s in the shower, don’t. If he asks you to give him a half an hour after work before you talk and connect, respect that. When it comes to following through on a partner’s reasonable request, actions really do speak louder than words.

If your partner isn’t respecting your boundaries even though you’ve set them clearly, it may be time for professional help for you and/or your relationship.

Curt Canada is a Life and Career Coach at FindingYourZenith in Washington D.C.

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

They say that pictures are more than a thousand words….take a look at this picture that was sent to my wife, Basia from my father-in-law in Poland who documents a day in the life of my mother-in-law ( Stasia)who invest her time in birthing little puppies!   I can only report that this was a “Wow” moment for me!   How about you?

     “ This is one example or definition of  the meaning of  ” Finding Your Zenith.”

 

Curt Canada  is the founder of  FindingYourZenith a Life,Career, and Leadership development Coaching practice in Washington,DC. Visit Curt at www.findingyourzenith.com