What to expect when you make a big change

There’s change, and then there’s change. The first one might be something like: you grow your hair out; or, you get a new car. The second one will look more like: I graduated from college, got a job in finance and realized I hated it, now I’m a chef; or, I used to live in California with my husband and children, now I live in New York with my children; or, I’ve always had a fear of heights and now I’m a rock climbing guide.

The second kind of change is transformational, you become something other, or more, than you were. Unlike change, transformational change requires more than a decision, it requires a commitment to do whatever it takes, and a willingness to experience whatever comes up along the way.

It’s the ‘whatever comes up along the way’ that is the most challenging part because most of us aren’t ‘prepared’ for it. By ‘prepared’ I don’t mean ready, I mean we don’t have the skills and tools to deal with the pushback that will come up.

First, know there will be discomfort, because in order to change you will inevitably need to let go of some familiar, and comfortable routines in your life. Even with mad skills it will be uncomfortable, but without them it’s going to be nothing short of hard, and likely painful.

Good to know: It’s confusing when you let go of one thing without knowing what replaces it. Try not to resist the discomfort, know that it’s part of the process, it means you’re on your way. Think about learning to ice skate, at some point you have to let go of the rail if you want to skate.

Next, you begin to ‘see’ your new self. You’ll start trying on new ideas, maybe even new looks, as the ‘old you’ begins to fade and space is created for you to play and dream.

Good to know: There’s likely to be some things you try on that won’t fit, don’t let that derail you—it’s how you figure out what will work for you. The process of elimination is part of the game.

Now you’re becoming who you imagined you could be. You have a good idea of who that is, you begin to step into it and take some chances, you begin to ‘live’ your transformation. You are no longer thinking about being a chef, you’ve taken classes and started looking for a job.

Good to know: PRP—Patience, Resilience, Persistence. You are going to need these in your back pocket because this is where you get frustrated, this is where you fall and have to pick yourself up, this is where you start thinking you don’t have what it takes.

And finally, if you are able to stick it out through all of that, you meet the ‘you’ of your dreams. There is a good chance it won’t look like what you first imagined because everything that came up along the way challenged you, and shaped you, in ways could never have anticipated. And it is glorious!!

Live it and love it!

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