navigating change

Understanding The 4 Key Components of Navigating Change

“A journey of a thousand miles begins beneath ones’ feet”-Lao-Tzu, Tao de Ching

Since early evolution through today’s modern age, man has had to tap into his creative spirit when faced with the challenges of life, whether finding creative ways to find and grow food, inventing the wheel, developing cures to disease, or learning to fly. All were incredible challenges met with intense desires that eventually became the sparks and catalysts for initiating great change.

At some point in time, while navigating our own personal dilemma’s and challenges, we recognize that our extreme emotional or physical discomfort requires us to make some sort of move in one direction or another. The term ”crossroads” is a perfect analogy to where we are mentally at such times. It may also be thought of as the moment where, after much deliberation, we take a “leap of faith”.

Before we come to that place however, we may find ourselves stuck or stalled, so unsure of which path to take that we pull back and do nothing at all. It feels safer to not act and keeps us in our comfort zone, tied to the familiar. Though comfortable and familiar, when we try to maintain status quo there is always that underlying gnawing feeling, that inner struggle and discontent that compels us that we must make a change. To stay in the familiar is no longer and option if we are to grow. True change is borne out of the deep desire for something better, something more.

Admittedly, there are times in your life when you must pull back. If your emotions are running high or you are reacting impulsively instead of acting with conscious awareness, having the wisdom to pull back and regroup can be a critical and much needed component to a successful major life change.

Successful change is when we have a level of awareness about our decisions and not act out of fear, anger or impulsiveness. We acknowledge our fears and anxieties but act with purpose anyway, knowing intuitively we will come through this time in our lives with new
strengths, experiences and successes.

Four Key Components of Successful Change:

1. The Crossroads- This is the point in the journey where there is so much tension or pain in the situation we are currently in that we realize a choice to make a move must be made. It can be wrought with anxiety, confusion, fear and uncertainty. We are standing at the edge. I like to think if this as a “jumping off place”. We may seek outside support at this time to help us clarify our decision to change the status quo, or may turn deeply inward and use this time as a period of intense self-reflection.

2. First Steps- We make a move in one direction, but as we start to move down the path we realize there are a zillion forks in the road! Yikes!! We are still anxious but now it is borne from a feeling of overwhelm as we realize that there are so many options along the road. We may panic and think about pulling back now, but it’s too late. We intuitively know we can’t go back there because we realize that although we feel unsure
of ourselves we may miss something wonderful out there.

3. Discovery and Exploration- Here is a time when we may find ourselves exploring many paths simultaneously, trying to discern which paths have meaning for us and which are just temporary diversions from what we truly value. It can be an altogether scary yet exhilarating time as we explore new experiences, gain more knowledge and insight, surrounding ourselves with opportunity and potentiality.

4. Integration of Old and New- This is when it all starts to come together, we have redefined ourselves and understand how to integrate our new and past experiences into who we are right now. We are still ourselves but richer, fuller, wiser. We can look back on our journey and have an awareness of the interconnectedness of all our experiences, past and present, good and not-so-good. We also understand that this is just one of many journeys we will take and trust that we can weather each with more wisdom and grace than the one before.

Consider the nature of the transition process and how it relates to your personal journey. What challenges are you navigating in your life? What knowledge have you gleaned from your past experiences? Understanding these four components to successful change will help you gain deeper clarity and insight about how to best move forward. Making decisions consciously and with great awareness is key. Don’t rush the process. Although we like to think the journey will be quick and painless, more often than not it isn’t. It’s hard work.

If you are anything like me, having patience and being able to surrender to the aspects of the journey that are out of our control isn’t always easy. We may try to force things to happen. Flow while you go. Consider adopting the “take the time it takes so it takes less time” mantra that a wise horse whisperer shared with me many years ago. It will help you navigate life transitions and reach your goals and desires more smoothly, with a sense of grace and peace, while maintaining the integrity of the relationships with those around you. Finally, trust that you are exactly where you need to be along the journey right now.

Karen Basmagy  |
Understanding the 4 Key Components of Navigating Change