How To Deal With Change and Other Yellow Lights in Life

How to Be OK with Change in your life:

deal with change

The light is yellow.

It was green, and yet suddenly- maybe when you weren’t expecting it, maybe when you had already committed at a stable pace to head through the light ahead of you… it changes.

Do you slam on the brakes?

Do you peddle to the metal?

That moment of realization that you have to make a decision, that you have to make a commitment, can jar you. Driving analogy aside, life throws many yellow lights your way. I’m not here to tell you how long that yellow light will last- only the yellow light knows that, but I can tell you how to deal with the decision at hand.

Decision making takes a lot of energy.

It is a stressful endeavor. Research says so.

I know first hand. For years I (lovingly) called myself Second Guessing Sooz. My horoscope says I’m a Libra, and apparently that means I’m constantly trying to balance life, often leaving decision making up in the air. It’s an “air” sign, so I like to “go with the flow”, the antithesis for decision making.

But the Flow? It doesn’t always tell you what path to take. That comes from a grounded personality. And being grounded takes a lot of hard work for me, because I’m a floaty, go with the flow, life-is-beautiful kind of girl. I believe I’m led to the things in life that are best for me. People call me optimistic, but I think it’s just faith, belief. If I have an internal knowing that I will know what to do… then won’t I know what to do? Doesn’t that make decision making easy?

Well, yes and no. If you’re also like me, you overanalyze. You get stuck in your head, thinking, thinking, thinking and debating debating debating. Is this the right course? Is this the correct way to go? You may flip flop, you may counter your own arguments. Hell, you may even heatedly fight with yourself.

I wouldn’t know, I’m not you. But I know I do that. I know- especially in moments where decisions seem HUGE- I hesitate, stammer. Deer in the headlights, my fight or flight response is triggered and I want to bolt, or punch Change in the face and steal it’s money. (Ok, maybe not steal, I’m not one for theft)

Change. 

F-ck that guy, amirite?

And yet we’re back on that favorite topic of mine- resistance. Stress IS resistance to change, big or small. If you are holding fear in your body, it causes tension- triggering your sympathetic nervous system to pelt you with hormones and other frantic energy. This energy acts as a poke and prod to DO something- act, now! Life or Death!

It’s not always life or death, as we know, but it’s just energy. Fear is energy that we resist. However, if we switch it up a little, change our perspective on the situation- and see Energy as working FOR us, not against us, we can garner it’s power and turn it into something fantastic.

Turn your energy into excitement.

By going with that flow, by thanking that energy’s presence in your body and allowing it to move through you, inspiring you- you control the situation. Fear into Excitement. If Fear is energy we resist, than Excitement is energy we bear-hug and high five. We’ve accepted that energy as our own, gave it a legit thumbs up, and walked into the future with it.

So are you afraid of this new change in your life? And would you prefer to be? Or do you WANT to let go, move on, decide and get on with it?

It’s your decision.change has boundaries

4 Steps to Getting Unstuck in Life and Making Fear Your Friend

Make Fear your Friend by following these 4 crucial steps

Get unstuck in life by turning that pesky Fear into a friend!

get unstuck and swim

Just Keep Swimming.

You’re ready. You’ve sat down and attempted to discover where you want to go on your next journey, and even pin pointed the stops you’re going to make, and the experiences you want to have. You’ve even taken the time to chart the distance, in miles, that you will travel.

You’re ready. You’ve color coded the “entertainment” stops, the “museums” in the area. You’ve made a list, checked it twice… actually, three times, and you know exacatly every moment you want to fill with progress.

You’re ready. You’ve spoken to friends, especially those who have traveled as you’re about to travel. You’ve taken into considerations their experiences, they hang-ups, their adventures and inspirations along the way.

You’re ready….But you don’t feel ready.

Not in your heart. Not in the bounce of your step. And so, all these plans, all these beautiful charted lands of adventure… sits stale, on your coffee table. You try to convince yourself you’re ready, you remind yourself of everything you have accomplished so far to get you to this point, but to make that leap, to start driving… to get out there… Man, that’s a journey in and of itself.

And so you hesitate. You ponder. You may even do some jumping jacks to get your mind in gear… but yet something has you stuck.

get unstuck

“Stuck? We hear ya.”

And that something is You.

And it hurts. And you know this, either on a subconscious level, or a very surface level. You know you are limiting yourself, something has you believing you aren’t capable of taking that most important step. And so this knowledge builds and builds, hitting you over and over in your mind like a hammer. BAM… BAM…

Either externally or internally, you’re reaching a breaking point. Will you scream “F-CK IT” and jump? Or will you burst into tears, cut down repeatedly by your own blows, and hide in a corner.

Fight? Flight?

And shame still has you cornered. It’s visceral, or so visceral. Perhaps it’s hiding behind glossed eyes, perhaps it’s beating harder and harder in your chest. Perhaps, it’s making you sweat, or making you scream, or making you punch walls, drop kick unsuspecting objects on the floor, or yelling at your cat for sitting where he’s sitting. Either way, you’re stuck- and you’re mad about it- or you’re sad about it- or you’re absolutely enraged by it.

But don’t be.

Don’t further resist and blame yourself for feeling scared or stuck. Embrace it.

“Embrace it? For realz? How does one do that? How can I possible be ok with being a fraidy-cat, a nervous Nelly, a ….a ….”

Yes, embrace being stuck to get unstuck!

As soon as you allow yourself space to feel stuck, feel scared- it will pass faster than if you skip over this very important step- that of Acceptance.

You’ve heard it before, fear teaches us many things. Fear keeps us alive. And it does! Fear and hesitation acts as a moment for us to assess important situations, take a moment to breath, or reconsider our actions. It helps reduce destructive impulses and actions we may soon regret. It CAN be your best friend. It can also be your most annoying, insecure friend who bombards you with “what if?” scenarios. Each moment, recognize fear, and consider what he/she is saying to you.

What points do you agree with that fear? What points do you know are a load of BS?

Many call this a pros/cons list.

But, let’s try something new. Take a moment to write about your friend: Fear.

  1. Ask yourself: In what ways has Fear saved my life, or been there for me in the past? (Maybe alerted you to a dangerous situation? Possible let down? Red flags?) In what ways has he/she been a boss and stood up for you, putting you in a protective bubble, giving you confidence to get away or stand up for yourself?
  2. Now- before we list the negatives of fear, THANK fear. Thank that mofo biotch for keeping a watchful eye out for you. Thank them for their constant vigilance, their unshakable stance, and their acute eye for the devil in the details.
  3. Now take a breath. And, with compassion, let fear know you can take it from here. Tell your friend you appreciate their concern, and you take what they say to heart and see it as their way of showing love and care. Be grateful he/she is in your life as a lovely stop sign to help you really decide what is best for you. But the light is now green.
  4. Decide for yourself. This is the scary part- and this is the part where your friend, Fear, may be bouncing up and down trying to stop you over and over with their opinion, even after you’ve shown your appreciation, even after you assured them you’re going to be ok. You have the angel and devil on your shoulder, but you can’t tell which is which! Is stopping your plans a GREAT idea? Or a bust? What if? What if?

I can’t tell you how long this process may take. I can tell you, it doesn’t have to take long, and it also doesn’t have to take an instant. Reconsider your plans if it feels right to you. Take fear into consideration if you feel in your gut something is keeping you at a standstill for a reason.

But, if you ARE ready, (and, know, that I believe in you!!) if you have been ready- and Fear, your friend, has been the one holding you back, despite your perfectly charted plans? Give him/her a hug, hold their hand, and walk into the uncomfortable, uncertain future… together.

I’ll see you on the road, dear wanderer. I hope you get a chance to meet my friend, Fear sometime as well, (though she can be a bit of a brat.) She has some good insights.

fear is your friend

Fear’s your friend (sometimes.)