6 Steps for Surviving the Tunnel of Change
The greater the life you want to lead, the more changes and challenges you’re going to face. It’s the big ones that get to us the most – job changes, relationship endings, relocating and even children leaving home for lives of their own.
Navigating the time and space until we get back to good can feel like walking through a dark and lonely, never-ending tunnel. When I’m there struggling, not knowing what’s next, I call it, going through the tunnel of change. Depending on the area of life that’s changing, your experience negotiating this tunnel can feel like all of this:
- Intimidating and uncertain like when you’re moving to a new town.
- Dark and scary like when you’re leaving a relationship and wondering if you’ll ever find the right one.
- Or even long and tiresome like when you’re unemployed, or looking for something better for you.
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. The tunnel of change is unpredictable. That’s why we need a strategy to hold onto, like the warm hand of a friend when things get rough. I’ve been through the tunnel of change enough times to have learned a few things I wanted to share that will help you see the light…your light.
No matter what you’re going through, remember:
You are not your past.
You are greater than your past. Although it’s part of you, your previous experiences don’t define you. It’s time to let go of bad decisions and outcomes you didn’t like. Each and every day you wake up, you get a clean slate to begin anew, think anew and act with courage to create something new specifically for you. Letting go of both the good, and not so good things we’re accustomed to is necessary to access the “even better” that lies ahead.
Ask for Help.
Ask for and accept all the help you can get. If you need someone to hold the flashlight while you make your way, find someone who can. We’re trained to stay strong and get tough about our lives, but we don’t have to do that alone. There are people who have travelled the tunnel before that know more about where you’re going and what you’ll find. Let them support and guide you. Asking for help is real bravery.
Focus on Vision
Your vision is the light at the end of any tunnel even though it may be too tiny to see right now. You must create a better, brighter future in your mind. Spend some time to get super clear about the experience you want to have. Let your imagination guide you. Holding onto a strong vision will help you with the inevitable letting go process so you can embrace all the new that waits for you. BTW: Check out this Self Empowerment Contract which can help you stay focused on what matters most to you!
Take small steps
While things are uncertain take small steps until you can see more clearly where you’re going. With each step, you’ll gain confidence. When your light at the end of the tunnel becomes clearer, you can stretch your legs and pick up your stride again. For more on building confidence, read How to Get Comfortable with Not Knowing
In the present is where you’ll pick up clues along the way to help you navigate through the dark and confusing times. Use affirmations to keep you heading in as straight a path as possible toward what you want for your future. Stay aware and vigilant for when your mind tries to take you back to the past and sell you a BS line of negative thoughts that include, I can’t, It won’t, and Life will never be the same. It’s true that life is changing, but there’s nothing to fear if you accept one moment at a time to deal with. Read more about Staying Present through Difficult Changes.
Every day, repeat the following:
My good goes with me. My gratitude, my joy, my love all go with me. Nothing real and valuable is ever left behind.