By Dawn D. Mitchell, Contributing Writer
This time of year brings new perspectives, opportunities, and hope for new levels of experience and connection. However, transitioning into a new year is also a FORCED adjustment for everyone, which may bring an element of stress. Why? Because change often results in being uncomfortable, making mistakes, and experiencing anxiety related to uncertainty. For example, there is always that awkward period in the beginning of the year where you may keep writing “2016” on various documents instead of “2017.” The routine, familiarity, and comfort with writing 2016 for 365 days straight causes our thinking to settle there. In fact, in those moments, we actually are not thinking at all, but have placed that written phrase on autopilot. It doesn’t require concentrated focus anymore to pen. It has been programmed into our consciousness. And we are quite comfortable with that, until next year when we uproot our programming, repeat the cycle, and relax…again.
This can also be the case with a career transition. As a career coach, I speak with people daily who are making the adjustment to being unemployed, acclimating to a new career, or taking the plunge to start a business or non-profit organization. The adjustment period can run the gamut between brutal and euphoric depending on the situation. Often, it errs on the difficult side because of the depth of attachment to a previous position, company, or lifestyle. The more attached to a particular state of being, the more anxiety and fear tend to show up when change occurs. It takes time, patience, support and loving reinforcement to navigate through the stages of change, loss, and uncertainty. Although change raises emotional hurdles that must be confronted, it also brings huge opportunities for massive positive results.
If you are experiencing anxiety related to a career transition, the following three steps can help you strengthen your resilience and support a new positive perspective:
- Focus on gratitude – Gratitude combats anxiety. It is not possible to focus on gratitude and fear/anxiety simultaneously, therefore, making a conscious effort to count your blessings can interrupt fearful thinking patterns and bring back balance to your mind. Try writing down five things you are grateful for every day upon waking. Over time, this will begin to help you manifest joy in your life, as there is always something to be grateful for.
- Know who you are – You are not your job title. Your job is just a ROLE that you play; it doesn’t define who you are. You were created for a purpose. Spend some time connecting within and consulting your Higher Power (the “manufacturer of you”) to receive insight. Read inspirational books, walk in nature, and spend time in silence to support this process. The roles you play in life may change, but your purpose for being does not. Getting to know who you are from the inside out (versus the outside in) snatches your power back from outside influences that may have previously given you identity.
- Get Support – If you are having difficulty adjusting to a job loss or career transition, it may be because you have temporarily forgotten your power, strength, and ability to be resilient. Every one of us forgets sometimes! That is why we need support. Connect with someone who can remind you of all of the obstacles you have successfully overcome, who can see your greatness, help you with a plan, and point you back in the direction of your dreams.
Let’s work together to make this the best year yet, but let’s not get comfortable there. Staying open to greater will make each subsequent year even better than the last!
Dawn D. Mitchell is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur with a passion for inspiring professionals who have been laid off, wish to make a career change, or who need spiritual support with work-related challenges. As founder of The Corporate Couch, her vision is to give clients the tools needed to create an empowered global workforce. Her new book “Light After a Layoff” has just been released and is available at www.TheCorporateCouch.com.