Tips for Gliding Through Life Transitions
Life is full of transitions. We move in and out of them over the course of our lives. The more familiar you are with the process, the easier they are to navigate. This is my third article on transitions. I like writing about them because many people get tripped up or stuck in transitions and aren’t able to move forward. Amelia Earhart once said,
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
How true her words can be for us. If you feel like you’re in a transition and you’re having difficulty taking the next step, then hopefully you’ll find some encouragement in the following suggestions.
4 Tips to Keep You Moving Forward
1. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
I love this little adage. It gets to the heart of our desire to dream, to try new things and to have the courage to transition into new seasons of life. If you have a strong inclination towards a particular direction, or feel as though God is calling you to something new or different, then good for you. This could be an exciting new time and adventure. My encouragement to you is to give it some serious thought, to be bold and be a risk taker. In the words of Mark Twain,
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
2. Never Let Fear be Your Guiding Post
Many people when exploring and dreaming about “what could be” get stuck dwelling on what happens if I fail. The fear of failure keeps many people from moving on or moving forward. Don’t let that be you. Understand that most successful leaders fail at one time or another. Failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. C.S. Lewis said it well,
Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
If you’re struggling with the concept or experience of failure, try reframing your perspective. For instance, if you try something and don’t succeed, recognize that ‘you’ are not a failure, but rather what you attempted to do didn’t work out. Realize it’s not that you have failed that matters most; but rather, what you do with your failure that matters most.
Learn from your experience. Reframing failure and learning from your experience can be invaluable. The following are just a few possibilities that can come from our failures:
- Gaining new perspective
- Refining vision
- Strengthening resolve
- Building character
- Keeping you grounded: humility
Nowhere in the Bible is it written that our walk of faith will be easy, without challenge or even without failure. There are many examples in the Bible of strong characters of faith that have failed or missed the mark.
3. Wise Counsel is Priceless
One of the most helpful things you can do when facing a new transition is to find someone to dialogue with. This may be a trusted confidante, a coach or a small group. In my years working with people I have found that talking about what’s going on, asking key questions, brainstorming possibilities with others is invaluable especially when facing transitions.
When people have the right kind of conversations with key people it can make all the difference in the world in regards to moving forward, be propelled to new levels, or trying completely new opportunities. Whatever transitions you may be facing getting counsel matters. As the wise King Solomon once wrote,
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Prov. 15:22 NIV
4. Timing is Everything
Knowing the right timing is key to just about anything we do in life. You can have the most brilliant business proposal, an amazing vocational opportunity, or something else, but if you don’t understand timing, you could very well miss the mark.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
When something is pulling on your heartstrings and you feel an urging that it is the right thing for you to do, then be diligent to do your homework. Pay attention to the affirmation from others. What are they saying? Is it the right time or should you wait? You can also look for confirmation from circumstances or life experience. Are things lining up well now? Or would it be better in three or possibly six months from now? Be sure and exercise discernment and good judgment. Perhaps it’s better to wait for a better time. Finally, one of the best things you can do is to be prayerful. Ask God to show you the right timing. Remember He is with you and He will show you.
What have been your experiences with transitions?