Change is a concept that appears in all chapters of our lives. It often brings with it a sense of uncertainty, most especially with unforeseen changes.
By midlife, much of our life changes. Kids grow up and leave home, parents grow elderly and eventually pass away. Some relationships end in divorce or need a bit of a reboot if you’re going to enjoy life together again. Many women lose interest in their careers too, but don’t know what they would like to do instead.
Add to this a pandemic, a global economic crisis or an environmental issue, our life can feel like it is spinning out of control
The thing is, change is a necessary part of evolution. And without evolution life would eventually wither and die.
So it’s important that we learn how to manage change, most especially in this current uncertain world. In our second half, even more so. I have a strong feeling that we have bigger changes ahead, so we need to get a grip on how we manage it.
A couple of months ago we had a group coaching session in the Women Reinventing Midlife Club. Our theme was Managing Change.
It was a fabulous session with many fantastic ideas shared between the ladies. There is no group more productive, supportive and insightful around this particular topic than a group of women over 50. After all, we’ve had a lot of experience by this age and had to negotiate the many pitfalls that change often brings.
Without mentioning any names, I’d love to share some of these ideas with you. These are tips, rituals, practices and mindsets that these women practice themselves. Some of them are mine too. And they all work!
Give yourself time to feel and consider the situation
This is a big one and while it is important to allow ourselves to feel, it is equally important not to get stuck in it. There’s a big difference between processing emotion and going deep down a rabbit hole and not coming out. Sometimes you need to feel instead of stuffing emotions down. Then consider what the change means including your current position and options.
Control what you can and don’t get pulled down by what you can’t change
We spend too much time focusing on what we have no control over. As we do this we experience a sense of helplessness. When you move your focus to what you do have control over, you feel more in control within yourself. This also gives you the ability to make a difference in the situation where you can.
Accept what you can’t change
This really compliments the previous tip. So many of us misunderstand the meaning and purpose of acceptance. When we accept something it doesn’t mean we want it that way or that we’re happy about it. It means we want to feel at peace with it, that’s all. Start working on this with the smaller things that don’t go your way. With practice it becomes easier with the larger unforeseen changes.
Work on an attitude of optimism
By looking on the good side, we tend to feel more at peace with the situation even if it’s not what we want. Plus, we tend to find solutions at lot easier too. If you are someone who naturally looks for the negative this is going to take some consistent work. You need to start practicing this when all is going well. Once you have had some practice at it, you will find it easier when the going gets tough.
Don’t make a situation define you
This is another biggie, because if we let a situation define us, it gets in the way of us experiencing life differently. When we take situations personally it can lower our self-confidence and motivation, plus limit opportunities. Nothing means anything, only what we choose to make it mean. If you are going to make it mean anything about you, choose something positive and empowering.
Adopt a spiritual or stress relief practice to help you feel at peace
There are so many spiritual or stress relief practices that can help you feel at peace. Meditation is always listed as an option here, but many women can find it quite challenging.
Personally I have found breath work very helpful in focusing my mind. Many of the ladies in the club have too. TriYoga of course is something I practice regularly, which is meditation in motion. You might like to try either of these or Qigong and TaiChi. Mindfulness practices, art therapy or walking in nature are also great practices for instilling a sense of calm and peace. Remember that this is different for everyone, so find a practice that works for you.
Get clear on what you want instead and break it down into steps
We’re often so busy focused on what is actually happening that we forget to look at what we want instead. By bringing our focus to creating a different reality, we naturally feel more inspired. Once you have this vision written down clearly, then break it down into steps. The smaller steps will help you feel much more in control and give you a sense of progression faster.
Finally, realise that progression doesn’t always move upwards
Even though I’ve listed this as the final tip, it’s essential and it’s definitely not all that was discussed.
Progression can move in a number of directions, we can sometimes go sideways or plateau. But this doesn’t mean we’re not progressing, Often time it just means there’s something else we need to see or learn.
The truth be known, life isn’t linear anyway; it’s a cycle. There is no beginning and there is no end, just never ending moments of now. Our human mind though, needs to see progression and that’s why we see time as linear. It gives us some sense of control.
So those times when you feel like you’re going sideways, remind yourself to look for what you can learn or need to see. This helps you manage change by creating what you do want instead. It’s all part of evolution and growth.
One of the most empowering things you can do in this phase of life is to be part of a group of likeminded women. The members of the Women Reinventing MidLife Club are a beautiful group of positive and supportive women. We meet twice a month or more online and now is a really good time to join at a lower membership rate. If you would like to know more about this membership, you can book a quick, no obligation, free chat with me HERE