When was the last time you initiated or navigated change?
Perhaps you reached a crossroads in your life and sensed that it was time to make some new choices to shift your direction. Or maybe you returned to work, started a new job or experienced redundancy or retirement. Or started a relationship, moved house, set up a new business, ended a relationship, passed through a milestone birthday, had a baby or waved goodbye to a child leaving home.
Life is full of transition and change. Some changes are welcome. Some aren’t. Welcome or not they are always opportunities for learning, growing, experiencing new things, waking up and discovering at a deeper level who you are and what you’re here for.
In my client work and in my own life, I’m acutely aware of how we as women have a tendency to be hard on ourselves as we move through change.
Think about the last significant change you experienced.
How much shame, blame, comparison and guilt were involved? You doing to you. Not others doing to you. And if there was plenty of this going on, are you able to acknowledge it now without going into some form of self-judgment? It’s a bit of a conundrum isn’t it. One that most of us struggle with, consciously or unconsciously, to a greater or lesser degree.
I’ve come to understand that the only way through and out of this conundrum is to cultivate a way of relating to ourselves that is based on deep self-love and self-appreciation as we move through change.
How would it be to love and truly appreciate yourself as you move through change?
Pause for a moment and consider this question for you and your life circumstances. Really feel into what it would be like.
All too often we criticise and punish ourselves through change, a stance which is hardly surprising given the images of ‘impossible to live up to’ perfection that are fed to us from outside of ourselves for example on TV, in magazines and on social media. These images can affect us at surprisingly deep levels even if we think we’re not taken in by it all. They generate comparison and can lead us to believe we are falling short of everyone else out there.
And sorry that I am to say this, an unfortunate by-product of the self-help industry and some corporate training courses is the perpetuation of a message that there is something wrong with us and we need fixing.
Is there a change you’re wanting to make in your work or life?
Right now, is there a change you’re wanting to make in your work or life? If there is, I urge you to buck the trend and begin with self love and appreciation rather than the self criticism associated with “there’s something wrong with me that I need to fix”.
With self criticism and a belief that you need fixing as core elements of your change foundation, it’s hard to feel safe as you change and grow. Instead you enter an internal battle-ground and a pathway ahead that isn’t loving or appealing and often results in avoiding change in the first place. Perhaps you can relate.
With self love and self appreciation as core elements of your foundation, everything is different. You are aligned to your intrinsic value and worth, and your change process is more able to flow as you set out on a new adventure with a powerful and loving anchor.
So let’s love and appreciate ourselves through change.
These are wise words but how do we do it? Over time and through many change experiences, I’ve gathered a tool-kit of ‘loving and appreciating myself through change’ gems. They include:
- Getting back to basics with self-care. Taking care of my sleep patterns, drinking plenty of water, gentle exercise and a nutritious diet help me love myself in a practical and profound way.
- Daily appreciations. At the end of each day writing down 3 things in my journal that I’ve appreciated about myself that day and really acknowledging them, allowing them to settle in to my bones.
- Letting myself off the hook. Change can be messy and facing new experiences can be challenging. If I slip up, I go easy on myself. I learn and move on.
- Checking in on my boundaries. I ask myself “Am I honouring my limitations and saying yes when I mean yes, and no when I mean no?” and “Am I clearing my energy field each day to lessen the chances of carrying and being depleted by other peoples’ energies?”
- Tuning in. When I tune into myself by staying connected to my breath, body and feelings at regular intervals throughout the day, I feel aware, stable and strong inside.
- Finding time for beauty. Noticing beauty around me in my every day life, and intentionally taking myself into beauty at least once a week by, for example, spending time in nature or viewing beautiful art in a gallery. This feeds my soul and increases my self love quota.
- Meditating. Committing to 10-15 minutes daily of conscious breathing becomes increasingly important in the midst of the uncertainty and stress of change.
What about you? What works for you?
You are unique so your ‘loving and appreciating yourself through change’ gems may be different to mine. It’s worth taking some time to reflect on what they are for you.
To put this into context, if you feel drawn to, have a ponder on these questions:
- What change are you wanting to make, or in the midst of right now?
- In this situation, how can you bring more love and appreciation for yourself into the experience?
In the programme we explore loving yourself through change in our first module Building Loving Foundations.
Fully You is a programme that can support you if you’re a professional who is:
- Feeling stressed through having to spin lots of plates in work and life, play lots of roles, and meet lots of expectations (including the high ones you have of yourself).
- At a crossroads in life and facing big decisions as your priorities shift and a new beginning calls.
- Wanting to approach change in a new way, one that is loving and doesn’t leave you exhausted or disheartened.
If any of these resonate with you then please do contact me and book a call to explore if Fully You is right for you. You can reach me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 7715 704953 and we can set up a time to talk.
A participant from the last series of Fully You in the Summer had this to say about working with me:
“Mandy is an insightful, caring and thoughtful coach. Because she can work with energy and doesn’t get involved with life ‘stories’, she can penetrate to the emotional energy that lies behind the story we tell ourselves and gets to the heart of the matter…the real issue that is blocking our path. I love that. If you are at a crossroads in life, wondering which direction to take, or perhaps need some energetic space clearing from old wounds then I would HIGHLY recommend working with Mandy.”
All details of the programme, its content, timelines and investment, are HERE.
I’d love to see some of you on the Autumn series of Fully You.
If you know anyone else who might be interested please do forward this blog on to them.
M: +44 7715 704953
Read about FullyYou HERE.
Join Mandy’s Private FaceBook Group HERE.
Author: Mandy Muckalt
An experienced facilitator and coach supporting professionals to lead and live from wholeness, and to flourish in turbulent times.