I Need an Emotional Support Donkey
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Have you recently taken a big step all in the name of accomplishing a goal? Maybe it is a work goal (going for that VP role?) or a personal goal (moving to a new city?) – whatever the goal and the associated change to work towards that goal, one thing is for sure – it is NOT easy. You remember the sweet cut-off sweatshirts from the 80’s with “No Pain, No Gain” emblazoned across the chest? Well, my friends, this is what they meant.
So, here we are – you did it!! Congratulations! You took that risk and made the decision to put yourself out there to achieve your goal. That is awesome, amazing, wonderful, powerful and empowering. Now on to step two of the process – when complete and total panic sets in and you start questioning what you’ve done.
Whenever anyone takes a major step towards a new goal that requires change, you move into uncharted territory, and you will, inevitably, become uncomfortable. Whether it is a new job, a new city, or any other number of changes, there will always be a “period of adjustment”, and that is the time I would like to talk about today. Below I discuss a variety of tips and tricks for ways to help yourself through this time so that you can stay strong and persevere to reach your goal. No tucking your tail between your legs and making a run for it here – you can do it, and these tips will help.
1. Stay Focused
When you decided to make this move, there was a reason. During this time, it is essential that you remind yourself of that reason on a regular basis. To get the required experience to position yourself well for that VP role? To move a city that gives you the quality of life you’re looking for? Keep your eye on the prize and know that it will all be worth it in the end. Having a hard time staying focused on that reason? Try a visual aid – a picture that represents the power executive, a picture of the mountains, a dog running free through a field – whatever sparks that positive association for you, put it front and center for when you need that not-so-subtle reminder.
2. Stay Busy
You know the old saying “Idle hands are the devil’s tools”? Same goes for your brain in this situation. If you start to feel self-doubt creeping into the corner of your mind, TAKE ACTION! Do something that will contribute to accomplishing the goal you’re trying to achieve to bring your mind back to the here and now. Do some research on competitors or research new hikes in your new city.
3. Stay Positive
Staying positive can be very challenging sometimes, especially when you have critics whispering not-so-sweet nothings in your ear all of the time. Taking risks and making changes makes people uncomfortable, even if it isn’t their change. People will be more than eager to share their opinions about your decision, and over time, that can start to wear on you and break down your positive outlook on your decision. Don’t give in! This is where you have to find a way to keep your positivity up. The first key here is to notice when it is starting to happen so that you can take action. Then find your positivity solution – the inspirational picture I mentioned earlier, meditation, religion, volunteering, surrounding yourself with positive people, getting some exercise, simply smiling, or whatever works best for you.
4. Stay Realistic
Sometimes it will be necessary to give yourself a bit of a pep talk. This is the old half time locker room whoopin’ you need to get things back in perspective. Remind yourself why you made the decision in the first place, breathe, give yourself the mental picture of what that goal looks like, breathe (again) and refocus. We all have a tendency to make things spiral into something larger, which makes it overwhelming and unmanageable. Try speaking with someone (a friend, family member, coach) to get another perspective on what it is that has you in your mental wrestling match. Sometimes saying it out loud is enough to see how the thought path you’ve been heading down doesn’t really take you to the destination you had in your mind. In the event that you realize you do have a bump in the road, use that person to help you brainstorm actions you can take to help your mind feel more at ease. Once you have a plan of attack, you will feel more in control and on course once again.
Making it through a transitional time is challenging for anyone. Be realistic going into the change – know that it will not be easy, and be prepared to handle the challenging times when they arise. Always remember “No Pain, No Gain” on that cut-off sweatshirt, and go after what you want.
Need help getting through the “period of adjustment”? Give Proactive Happiness a call – we can help.