Whether it’s getting a degree, landing that big promotion, being married, having a child or any of the other markers of personal progress, milestones are universally acknowledged as happy times in our lives. But what if they make you sad?
Well for starters, you’re not alone. While there’s no doubt that beginning a new chapter or accomplishing a long held goal is exciting and in many ways fulfilling, it can also be overwhelming and scary. Nevermind the often-ignored fact that every new beginning brings with it the end of something that came before. Contrary to greeting cards and wedding websites and congratulatory toasts, managing milestones is not always as simple as celebration. Moving through life is a thoughtful process – and the memorable times that mark transition deserve just as much attention (and reflection) as all the others… maybe even more.
If you’re faced with a milestone that needs managing (and in one way or another, all of them do), keep the following tips in mind.
Don’t ignore what’s eating you
Everyone around you is telling you how happy they are for you, how much you deserve this great thing or how well-suited to it you are. Beyond the initial excitement or sense of achievement, however, you feel something akin to panic, dread, loss or fear. You know that what’s happening is something you want – or at least something you’ve wanted – but it’s not as joyous and carefree as you’d imagined it would be. It might even be downright terrifying! In turn, you assume there’s something wrong with you. Maybe you’re just not like other people and you’re not meant to have these things… maybe they’re not what you really want anyway.
Well, that may be true (it’s always important to pay attention to how your goals and desires change along the way), but one thing’s for sure. You’re not crazy to feel mixed emotions – and mixed emotions don’t mean you shouldn’t proceed. Unless the negatives truly outweigh the positives (in which case, you may want to give pause) cut yourself some slack and have a closer look at what’s going on inside! Sure, it may be easier to shut out whatever is making this transition complicated, but you’re much better off to face it head on and experience it so it doesn’t rear its head later.
Confront your emotions – even if you have to figure out what they are first! Odds are a little self-exploration and honesty will bring you to the source of the complexity… and that understanding will help ease your fears.
Acknowledge your loss
One of the troubles with our celebratory approach to transition is that we’re 100% future focused without acknowledging that we’re letting go of a piece of ourselves in the process. Never again will you be that kid struggling for their big break at work or the single person searching for the one… Even if you are in a similar situation again, it’ll never be without this experience.
Opening a new chapter means closing another one and it’s vital that you give that last chapter its due. After all, you changed and grew and laughed and cried and got to know yourself a whole lot better in the process of getting to where you are at this moment. Reminiscing over times gone by – mourning the parts you’ll miss even – doesn’t mean you don’t want to move on into this new phase! It means you’re human. Letting go of the old you is part of this rite of passage. But don’t worry… even as your life is changing, at your core, you’re probably not as different as you think!
Accept that change is scary
Finally, by their very definition, milestones imply change. What’s scary about change is that it removes certainty. You know what your life has been while you’ve been single or working toward your goal, but you don’t know what to expect now that you’re transitioning. So you’re scared… Well here’s the truth: you’d be strange if you weren’t at least a little bit worried! Fear about the unknown is normal – and universal. If you acknowledge this fact you’ll probably find everyone else will too.
The upside here is that fear brings with it excitement. And believe it or not, the two go hand in hand. While fear provides you with the caution you need to assess your options wisely, excitement supplies the nerve you need to take a chance every once in a while. So, if you can relax and let your seemingly contradictory emotions co-exist for a little while, you’ll find you can face any challenge that comes your way.
After all, you’ve always done it before. Resilience is what brought you here in the first place, and the universe never gives us anything we’re not already equipped to handle.
Are you having trouble with transitions? Let a psychic guide you. Call 1.800.573.4830
or click here