As we shift 2019 into high gear, many of us are in a place of transition. Moving in or out of the workforce. Beginning or ending a relationship. Starting again or choosing to continue in a new way.
These transitions can sometimes feel like we’re stepping into an uncertain abyss. While it’s a scary time, it’s also a time when our senses are most alert. So I suggest paying great attention to the precarious space between what was and what will be.
Transitions can make us feel ungrounded and raw. We may be open to being seen and heard, and we may appreciate feeling encouraged and empowered. We may also feel more sensitive to input and criticism too, because you don’t have answers yet.
I think of these moments of change as sine waves, fluctuating up and down. Whether it’s my health, career, community, family, or anything else, I hold onto the knowledge that while one or two might be hitting a low or in a transition, other aspects of my life are good.
I remind myself that I’ve rebuilt before and will rebuild again.
Taking small actions are especially important in these moments of change. Big answers may be unclear, small actions can help us feel more at peace. I don’t need to tell you about small actions that make transitions easier, because in recent responses to One Small Thing, you have told me!
Here are a few examples:
“Thank you for believing in me. I was so nervous when I first came to interview [for my job] and I remember looking at you across the table while I was presenting and seeing your eyes looking into mine and you nodding your head. You held space for me. You made me feel seen and heard and because of that, I felt confident and brave.”
“After moving from a career in finance to being a stay-at-home mom, I no longer felt valued. Your kindness and generosity made me feel seen as who I am not what I do. You made me feel relevant. You have no idea what an impact you have had on me!”
“Just know that you were the first person who ever told me I was special, and you were the person who drilled into me that I could accomplish amazing things in this world. There is absolutely no way I’d be where I am today without you.”
By owning your own and others transitions, you’re opening yourself up to the first step in moving through them. Here are three ways to get there:
- Put a pen to paper: if you’re transitioning right now, write down where you’ve been and why you’re in a place of transition. If everything feels stable right now, take a minute to reflect on previous transitions as a way of celebrating the evolution of yourself. It’ll be a great reminder of your ability to move in new directions.
- Identify who supported your times of transition: was it a friend? A mentor? A family member? Maybe it was a stranger. Think about who was there for you when you really needed it. Having clarity will not only trigger gratitude, but it will be a nice prompt about small things that felt meaningful.
- Ask yourself who needs supporting: have you checked in on one of your strong friends lately? Chances are, despite their outward strength, they may be going through a transition too. You can help pull them forward by asking how they are doing and really listening.
Share it big: tell the world who supported you during your transition and what #OneSmallThing(s) they did to encourage you by sharing it on social media.
Share it small: if you want more of an intimate connection, connect directly with friends, family, or colleagues via email/text/phone.
Share it with me: I’m building a collection of these small actions that turn out to have real value and meaning for others. I hope you will share who helped you and who you helped transition by sending me a note.