How to Survive a Big Life Transition

Ever had trouble transitioning from one phase of life to another?

If you’re currently en route to the writer’s life, you may sometimes feel in flux.

Here’s something that should help: you’re normal. You’re not alone. And you’ll learn quite a bit about yourself as you change over.

Hopefully, that makes you feel better. But I realize it doesn’t make your transition any easier. That’s why I’m going to show you how to survive – and even thrive – when you face your next transition (or while you conquer this one).

Transition Is a Constant, No Matter What

Here’s a powerful quote, “The only people not in transition are those who have already died.”

It means all the rest of us are in transition from where we are now to where we end up going.

Some transitions are subtle, like aging. You don’t notice differences in your appearance when you see yourself in a mirror every day. But someone who hasn’t seen you for several years is bound to notice how much you’ve changed.

Other transitions are obvious. Moving to a new city is one. Ditching your old job to take up freelancing full time is another. Adding or losing a family member is a major transition.

It’s these obvious transitions that bring about the most anxiety.

Change = Uncertainty = Fear

The biggest problem with any transition is that change brings an element of the unknown into your life. Without knowing what’s coming, your brain goes into crisis mode. You wonder, “Do I have enough? Can I be the person I need to be?”

This brings stress. And that triggers all kinds of biochemical and physiological changes in your body – few of which are good. Your heart might race … your blood pressure may skyrocket … and a doomsday attitude starts to take over.

If you’re under stress for too long, your mind will begin to shut down. Your body will break down. You’ll get deluged by negative emotions, which usually lead to destructive behaviors.

3 Ways to Shift Your Physiology

Obviously, that’s a road we’d all like to avoid. No worries – transitions don’t have to be so tough. If you’re aware of what’s happening or what you may be up against, you can transition quite gracefully into whatever new phase of life you seek.

Here are three ways to shift your physiology for a smoother life transition:

  1. Acknowledge whatever it is that’s going wrong. In other words, if you’re feeling something negative during a transition – even if you’re transitioning to something positive, like a new career as a freelance writer – accept your fear or uncertainty. This switches your body from being in a mode of denial to acknowledgement. You have to recognize what’s going on before you can change it.
  2. Connect with others. Support from others can make the difference between a successful transition and a massive flop. You might turn to family and friends. Or you could turn to fellow freelancers. They can relate to the same hiccups in the road, and they may be able to help you overcome your hurdles faster.

    But you don’t have to always ask for advice or go over your problems.

    The most important part is just to connect on a human level. Talk about day-to-day experiences, share laughs, rest. Connecting with a professional support group may also be a valuable investment in your future.

    Some terrific ways to connect with other freelancers are through these social media groups:

  3. Reach out to something larger than you. It might be nature or others in need. Take time to get out of your personal comfort zone and recognize the world at large.

    If you volunteer for those less fortunate than you or for a cause you believe in, it puts your troubles in perspective. Whatever is scaring you becomes small. When that happens, your challenges get easier to face. Chances are, your perspective will even change.

    Instead of worrying you’re not good enough to succeed as a freelancer, you’ll start to think, “How lucky I am to even have this opportunity … to know how to write … to have access to a computer and the Internet …” That attitude shift will be your turning point.

Transition Is a Bridge to New Opportunities

If you’re in transition to freelance copywriting, you could be facing a host of challenges – from figuring out how to quit your job to getting buy-in and support from those around you. But by making yourself aware of these coming changes and enabling yourself to make educated decisions, you’ll eliminate much of the stress. You’ll come to enjoy all the opportunities to create the satisfying life that comes with pursuing your dream career.

As I mentioned, your fellow freelance writers are a great resource to assist you in your transition to the writer’s life. You can benefit from their experiences, get answers to your “newbie” questions, and be part of a network that could be invaluable for your new career.

The social media outlets I mentioned above are great ways to get in touch with fellow writers.

But the best way to connect, in my opinion, is through a personal group that both holds you accountable and is committed to seeing you succeed. That’s what you get with Circle of Success (one of my greatest secrets to success, to be perfectly honest). It includes professional-grade coaching, open access to every jumpstarting resource you need to get your career launched, and a built-in support system of fellow freelancers.

At the end of the day, though transitions can be scary, they generally lead to a more rewarding, happier life. Don’t fight them … embrace them … get help when you need it … and chances are good you’ll be better off on the other end.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: October 31, 2011

3 Responses to “How to Survive a Big Life Transition”

  1. Hi Mindy!
    What a treat meeting you - and so many other like-minded poeple - at BC this year! It was my decision to join COS back in May that cemented my resolve to attend BC - and you are so right! I met many of my COS group for the first time and was swept away by the way we clicked on the spot! There´s an energy that can´t be ignored and I´m convinced we´ll all benefit from it far more than we can imagine!
    Greetings from Germany!!
    Jan Marie

    Guest (Jan Marie Mueller)

  2. Transition - tell me about it! This past April, in the midst of building a house (construction loan), I lost my job - 6 figures, poof! Fortunately, I had been to BC last year, and had a plan B. I am now launching my new career, have my niche, my marketing plan, and the resouces of AWAI at my back. Yes, it is still scarey but I know I will get it up to sustainable in 6 months. The good news is, I don't have to work around an 8 to 5 (or more often 6 or 7) schedule working for someone else!


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