Let’s be real here: 2020 has thrown a lot at us all. Don't let it stop you. View in browser
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5 ways to navigate change (when life is unpredictable)
Image: Sally Anne Carroll

Image: Sally Anne Carroll

Recently, the name of the game in my office and in my own life is reconfiguring and redesigning.

Personally, my own lifestyle and business is starting to restructure itself around new realities (and new goals). And well, this is also the work I do, so it’s safe to say every client I am working with right now is in the midst of more than one change — and juggling a lot!

Over the past year, most of us have experienced a shifting of priorities in some way. I tend to be really comfortable with the ebb and flow and changing realities of life. This listening and responding is what redesigning your personal and/or professional life is all about. 

But let’s be real here: 2020 has thrown a lot at us all.

Here is what continues to be true: no matter how it happens or how wanted or unwanted, expected or unexpected it is, creating big change will at some point bring up your drama, your perceived limitations, your old arguments and even a few habits you thought you'd left behind.

Redesigning and reconfiguring is all about navigating that in a way that allows you to grow.

If you’re in the midst of big changes, please take heart that this is all part of the process. It does not need to keep you spinning your wheels or getting stuck. The trick is staying present (and growing your ability to be present).

With consciousness and new awareness, you can navigate effectively.

Here are five of my favorite strategies for staying in your own momentum — even when the world is chaotic and unpredictable.

Embrace your edges.

When you’re at the edge of what is comfortable and familiar, mastery can feel like a faraway destination. You will not be perfect at what you are just learning to do. You will have to experience of the learning curve, just like everyone else does (yes, even brilliant you and brilliant me).

What if… you jumped in with both feet to being consciously incompetent at first, and practicing your way up to how and where you want to be?

Playing at your edge, expanding as you go, is something I first learned as a 20-year-old yoga student. It has never failed to produce a better result than the alternative.

Stop arguing with resistance.

When you’re at your edges, chances are good that you’ll suddenly love the status quo (you know, those same things you have been yearning and attempting to change). And that’s OK. I know from years of experience that fighting your own resistance is not only futile, it will often set you back.

What if… you were present for what you’re feeling right now?

If that means you don’t want to take the next step right this minute, or that you want to go running back to your old habit for a day or two, fine. Notice that. Get curious about it instead of making it wrong. Notice what you’re really needing. What emotional strengths can you tap? More often than not, the resistance will subside on its own (and will offer some good information), and you’ll be right back into action soon enough.

Drop your drama.

When I was navigating major hormonal shifts, my doctor told me that letting myself sleep in was one of the best things I can do for my health. I did not want to listen. I can’t sleep late. I have things to do. Productive people get up early. I have a routine. I already get plenty of sleep. She calmly refuted my arguments. You create your own schedule. You can always keep one day a week for early appointments. Sleep is productive. Who says you have to be up so early?

I dropped my drama for the facts: I needed more sleep and I am fortunate that my schedule can flex as I need it to. No surprise, when I stopped fighting for my limitations and focused on the facts, I started to see results.

What if… you dropped the drama and stuck to the facts?

Maybe it’s not your schedule or your self care, but your finances or your relationship or your career. If the story you’re telling can be refuted, it’s more likely drama than fact.

Take a time out.

You cannot keep up momentum, build capacity for change or do your best creative thinking when you are tired, worn out, overwhelmed or over-scheduled. Plain and simple. There is one solution: take time out. For me, this has taken the form of morning mediations (15 minutes makes a huge difference), tech-free Sundays or limiting . Carving out space for nonnegotiable time out is challenging, but it is also worth the effort and the discomfort.

For my clients, time out has taken the form of a daily walk on a nearby beach, 10 minutes of meditation at the start and the end of the day, twice weekly workout dates with a friend or a whole weekend away.

What if… you invested some quiet time in yourself?

Once a week, once a day — 10 minutes or 2 hours — whatever you need to feel relaxed and able to hear yourself think. Try starting really small, and making it super easy to implement. Even 5 minutes will shift your busy pattern and start to create new habits that will enhance your resilience.

Step fully into the change.

Commitment is the first real step of making anything new happen. Your decisions are powerful. Whether you've agreed to entertain a new possibility, embraced a new way of being or decided on a new course of action, make a solid decision.

Consider starting with a commitment to your vision of what's next for you.

What if... you walked in the shoes of where you're going, instead of the shoes of where you've been?

Navigating the changes you're making — or wanting to make— means asking yourself which of those places you are truly committed to and acting accordingly.

Over to you… I’d love to hear your strategies for more smoothly navigating the bumps that come with big changes (hit reply!). 

And if you need help figuring that out, let’s talk.

Cheers to positive change, your way!
Cheers to positive change, your way!

Sally Anne Carroll is a life and career coach whose passion is helping motivated women and men create what's next for their life and work. If you know it's time to finally get more of what you really want, I'd be delighted to support you. 

Book yourself for a free 30-minute consult and let's see what's possible.

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Sally Anne Carroll | Whole Life Strategies Coaching

5759 SW 48th Ave, Portland OR 97221 United States

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