In my upcoming book, Thriving in Change (working title), one of the things I discuss are the many stages of change. In today’s blog, I want to give you an exclusive sneak peek at an excerpt from the book which deals with the third stage of change: the starting anew stage.
Most people find that in retrospect, the change they feared and dreaded was indeed an opportunity for growth. And that is what thriving is all about. Carl Brand sums it up nicely: “Though one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
That quote is important to digest. Your future depends on more than you surviving the latest (or the next) change in life. It depends on your thriving, on your flourishing.
If you are having difficulty believing this right in this moment, then try this exercise:
Phone or email at least 3 friends or relatives. Ask them to share with you a change they have experienced in their lives that literally transformed their life in a positive way. They will be glad you asked, and you will grow to appreciate the changes you are experiencing even more.
Of course, patience may be required as you embrace a new situation or a new identity, whether it be a new job, a new home and setting, a new relationship, or a new lifestyle. The key is to take small steps as you learn the skills, habits, behaviors, and more associated with the new. Avoid the temptation to replicate the old. Look at opportunities with fresh eyes and a fresh spirit.
Let’s take the example of the individual who’s relocating to a new home in a new city. It can be stressful and a little bit frightening to uproot yourself and enter a new environment, but eventually, you can adapt to the change. This person might participate in evening classes (cooking classes, for example) or join a golf club to connect with other like-minded individuals. They can befriend their neighbors and invite them over for a housewarming barbecue. Perhaps they frequent the local businesses to get to know the community better. This allows the person to start anew and begin to settle into their new identity.
The more opportunities you give yourself to settle into your new identity, the easier you’ll transition through this process until you’ve successfully emerged from the uncomfortable in-between stage into your new reality.