Life Changes can be incredibly exciting. A new house, a new dog or a new job can be the reason you look forward to getting out of bed that day. Often, we meet these changes head on, raring to take on a new challenge.
But sometimes, for some reason, a life change can leave us feeling uneasy or uncertain about the future.
Coaching Psychologist Dr Melissa Marot explained that although we may experience similar types of life changes time and time again, one can come out of the blue which throws us, that we feel is harder than the others.
“Sometimes there’s things happening on the inside that take us by surprise.”
Dr Marot continued, “In any process of change, there’s an ending to the old, and that can be quite hard and we can get caught up in that ending process. We look backwards instead of looking forward.”
Although fixing our eyes firmly on the path ahead of us can feel next to impossible, with a little coaching there are ways to navigate our own life transitions to make them not only bearable, but a constructive experience.
Dr Marot suggests trying to sit with the uncertainty as a way of “giving space for new things to grow.” This allows us to approach life transition more openly without trying to hold onto what we knew before.
Once we do this, we can start to anchor into our values and identify what is important for us now. Dr Marot explained that we can “use our values to help to shape what this new thing will look like.”
Finally, we can start to identify our strengths that will help guide us through this uncertainty. Importantly, Dr Marot emphasised that strengths aren’t just what you’re good at, but also what you enjoy doing.
With any change you’re faced with, sitting in the uncertainty while anchoring into our strengths and values allows us to create a sense of agency in a life transition. This can be achieved in many situations, even those in which you seemingly have no control.
According to Marot, it’s about finding the balance of achieving personal agency over a situation while remaining flexible. She suggested the question to ask is “How can we have a sense of agency in being able to shape the situation and still be flexible toward it instead of control it?”
Although the answer may be slightly different for everyone, Dr Marot emphasised that anyone has the capacity to navigate through life changes smoothly.
“It’s about how we reorientate ourselves metaphorically and psychologically so we are looking toward what comes next.”