This article is the fourth in a series describing the process of a successful transition as you rewrite your life story. If you are in the last third of your life and thinking about ending your current career or selling your successful business, but not sure what you’re going to, this series will guide your thinking and perhaps give you your best next step/s. You will learn how to let go of the past, see the present clearly, chart a course for the future, neutralize whatever is standing in the way, and create a sustainable structure for making your next chapter your best chapter.
You may read the previous three posts HERE if you missed them and would like to start at the beginning.
In my Mine the Past post, I introduced the first of the five-chapter process for living your best chapter. Mining the Past is where you uncover those golden nuggets to help you build a sturdy, stable bridge from the past to the present and into the future. And that brings us to the second step - Assessing Current Reality (AKA the present).
My last post described the 5 Chapters that help people in transition make the next chapter their best chapter. This is the first of a five-part series to describe those chapters and perhaps help you along the way if you are considering shaking things up in your current situation and moving to a future you can’t see right now.
*If you have an impatient clicking finger, please do read down to Chapter Four. That’s where the magic happens!!
If you haven’t heard from me in a while, it’s because I have been having a blast helping clients who are in major transitions go from where they are to where they would rather be. Some are retiring and others are hitting the pause button to shape-shift into a new career/role. In both cases we are co-creating a plan and process for them to make their next chapter their best chapter.
1 | Remember Who You Are:
You were born for this moment. Leadership is hard—but you can do hard. You’ve been through challenging times before and you’ve always come out stronger on the other side.
2 | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First:
If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Remember that you have the choice to be your own best friend or your own worst enemy every day. Do the basic things that keep you healthy and sane: drink plenty of water, eat healthy, exercise, sleep. Repeat.
3 | Center Yourself When You Are Afraid or Anxious:
Fear is a natural response to continued uncertainty, chaos, and a sense of being out of control. The best thing you can do to center yourself is to take 5 slow deep breaths in this rhythm: inhale to the count of 3, pause to the count of 3, then do a complete, forceful exhalation to the count of 6. Done regularly (hourly) this breathing exercise will literally change your body chemistry and begin to build your immune response.
4 | Make Gratitude a Practice:
Start every morning with gratitude. Don’t allow yourself to get out of bed until you have thought of one thing you’re grateful for. Before you go to sleep at night, think of 3 things that happened today that you are grateful for. If you can, think of different things so it doesn’t get boring. This simple little exercise has the power to change how you go through your day and settle you down for peaceful, relaxed, and much-needed sleep at night.
5 | When You’re Uncertain About the Future: Our world has been so topsy turvy and no “new normal” in sight, it’s easy to get in a tailspin worrying about the what if’s. When we live in worry, we are cheating ourselves out of mental clarity, presence, and above all, joy. Worry not only undermines our resilience, but our immune response as well.
6 | Prevent Overwhelm by Creating Routine:
When you’re feeling overwhelmed it helps to simplify your life. The more choices and decisions you have to make, the messier it feels.
7 | Think, don’t Act:
When things feel frantic, it’s even more important to focus on the horizon. Take 5 deep breaths. Connect with your values, your vision, your purpose. And only then take action.
8 | Indecision is Making a Decision:
There’s always less stress on the other side of a decision. Not deciding is probably costing you more anguish than making a decision you fear. So make a decision!
9 | Limit Input Toxicity:
The news is literally designed to scare you—because you keep watching and they get paid. And your email inbox is other people’s To Do list. Limit your media intake to once a day and check email only at 4 intervals during the day. Save the rest of your time for consuming healthy input and improving your healthy output.
10 | Take the Long View:
This too shall pass. We all have to work on present challenges, and yet it’s wise to begin to plan ahead. There’s always a new normal after a crisis. Begin to plan ahead for exceptional client service.
Rebecca Bradley is a Master Certified ICF Coach and founder of Partnership Coaching, Inc. She began coaching individuals and teams to be successful in business over thirty-two years ago.