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How To Survive & Thrive During Change

Updated: May 23, 2023

I adore change. Without it, I get restless. Bored even. Undoubtedly a hangover from a childhood in which everything continually changed. From schools, to countries to towns to step parents. Forever the new girl and never one for sitting still. As chaotic as it sounds (and it was) I can now look back as an adult and appreciate the multitude of gifts & tools that I acquired, all thanks to the amount of change I became accustomed to as a kid.

But let's be real, there's a vast difference in seeking out something fresh in order to satiate a desire for the new, and being thrust into situations that require pivoting in much bigger ways than anticipated. One can feel exhilarating ( bookling a last minute city break in Barcelona), whilst the other might leave you feeling nauseous (facing overnight business closure due to a global pandemic )

Like so many things in life, context is key!

Whilst I don't pretend to know your circumstances or what changes you're currently facing that would bring you to an article titled "How to survive & thrive during change", there are a few fundamental tips and techiniques for doing exactly that, that I believe can be applied to almost any life change. I know, a bold statement!

But seeing as change and I are practically related, I figured I know thing or two about navigating it...

So if you're currently in a season of change that feels hard, or you're about to embark upon something new and the overwhelm is real, here's my go to guide on not only surviving this time, but thriving during it.

Get some space

And breathe! Switch off the notifications, go for a walk or a run in nature, cook a meal that brings you joy and feels good for the body & soul. Turn the music up, loud. Dance. Meditate. Paint. Write. Run a bath or take a shower.  Curl up with a book. Take a nap.

Just be

Gaining clarity and creating a plan is made a lot harder by the incessant notifications and the pull of the internet drawing you in. You might be seeking solutions but before you know it, you've fallen down the social media rabbit hole, doom scrolling like your life depends on it.

Somewhere inside of you, you already have the answers to your questions and the remedies to your problems. But if you don't allow yourself the space to explore the possibilities, feel the feelings and process the changes that are happening, it's going to be harder to gain clarity around what you want and how you're going to get it.

Acknowledge your feelings - even the uncomfortable ones

Don’t deny their existence. Or hide from them, sit with yourself compassionately, in a safe space.

Listen to what comes up for you, feel it. Speak it out loud or write it down, whatever works for you, there is no right or wrong way to do this.

The idea is to simply get real about how you're feeling, even if its not pretty.

The more you try to bury your feelings or ignore them, the longer you will remain in a place that feels painful. When you try to push pain or frustration down, it will show up in unexpected areas of your life, and you’ll end up playing whack a mole with your emotions. And you won't get to decide when or where. This is not a fun game and one that can generally be avoided if you're willing to create a space to explore how you feel.

Remember, what you resist will persist.

Practise self compassion

Self compassion is simply turning all that love, support and encouragement that you would normally extend to others, turning it inwards, and giving it to yourself.

And if you read that and thought "Sorry, what now?!" Then it's definitely time to address your self love game!

Extending the same kindness to yourself as you would others will do wonders for your wellbeing when experiencing difficult seasons or going through change. This doesn't need to be complicated - a little more love and understanding with a lot less negative self talk and judgement of self will go a long way.

I know I say it all the time, but learning to truly love yourself is the gift that will keep on giving.

And you’re going to need that even more so when sh*t hits the fan!

Be open to change

It’s usually in our resistance to things that the most amount of pain, anxiety or stress will be felt.

When life doesn't go as we’d wanted, or hoped, it can be painful. And I'm not “saying everything happens for a reason”. Because some things simply make no sense. But if you’re open to changing your perception of the new reality in which you’re faced, if you’re patient and willing to see where this alternative path will take you, you may just come to the realisation that this was always meant to be for you, not just something happening to you.

And if this feels a little unhelpful and you find yourself thinking "Gee thanks for that!! But this hurts / sucks and I didn't want anything to change, so F you" ..... I get it.

And it does suck. And it is hard. And it can be incredibly painful.

But by holding on to what was, you're actively blocking what can be.

Protect your energy

A good rule for life in general, but especially so when going through unexpected transitional periods in which things feel harder or your navigating uncharted territory.

Think about what will support you during this time and consider what will make things worse. Remember how I said earlier that you already have the answers, you just have to give yourself the space to find them? It's the same with where we direct our energy and what we allow our focus to fall upon.

So get really honest with yourself.

Reflect on your daily habits, interactions & relationships.  This may be a good time to draw some boundaries in some areas whilst you work through this time and ask for help from trusted family & friends in others.

Practise gratitude daily

This can have a profoundly grounding effect and doesn’t have to be complicated. 

When life feels like it’s falling apart, when you feel lost, uncertain and nothing is “going your way” Focus on all that you do have… 

The breath in your body that is giving you life, the nourishing meal you last ate, the sun rising on another day… Of course this doesn’t magically fix everything, but it will help shift your mindset from what you don't have to what you do.

Gratitude has this magical way of multiplying and shifting your perceptive - the more you appreciate, the more you see there is to be appreciative of.

Look for opportunities

Ok, so things haven’t turned out the way you wanted.

You've sat with your feelings, you've practised self compassion, you've given yourself some space and you're open to change. Also, you're now weirdly grateful for things you didn't much pay attention to before...

Now what?!

In your pursuit of thriving through change and turning your current situation into something that's working for you, you're going to need to do some deep diving and exploration.

Some great questions to ask yourself or some journalling prompts could be:

Is there a lesson to be extracted?

What can I do differently next time?

What do I really want now?

How can I move forward?

How can I create the reality I want?

What do I need to learn?

What actions do I need to take?

Who can help me on my journey?

And as always, be compassionate and honest with yourself. This isn't about placing blame or wallowing, it's about using your experiences constructively, extracting the lessons and finding the courage to step forward in a differnt direction.

Seek support

When you access support from someone who has been where you are, or who specialises with the specific problem you’re facing, you can dramatically reduce the time in which you will be in a state of suffering.

It’s a real game changer when it comes to “growing through what you’re going through”. The right Coaches, Therapists & Mentors who are in alignment with you and where you want to go, can not only accelerate your growth, they can provide the tools & support that will successfully set you up for the next stage in your life. Game. Changer.

Change doesn't need to be scary...

Change doesn't have to be scary, and you don't have to do it alone!

Some of the best things in life can come from unexpected change or plans going wrong, whilst it might not feel like it right now, you may even look back on this season of your life and feel gratitude.

If you want some support and guidance whilst you navigate the new and and you want to curate a fulfilling life in the process, then you can book a 1:1 coaching session with me by hitting the link below! My 90 minute 1:1 session will leave you feeling empowered, excited & ready to take inspired action!

Each session is bespoke to you, where you are on your journey, what you’re currently struggling with and what you want to achieve.

Depending on the specific areas you want to work on, you’ll gain tools to cultivate self belief, self compassion, build healthy habits, set & achieve your goals and step out of your comfort zone and curate a new path forward. You'll also gain insight into what limiting beliefs are blocking you from the life you want and stopping you from taking action along with tools to help you work through.

After all, you can't control change when it comes out of nowhere, but you can decide where it takes you.

Love & Magic,

Hayley x

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