Painful ending or new beginning?

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. Change can be very uncomfortable, painful even. Whether it’s being made redundant, retiring, divorce or separation, illness and loss, we encounter many changes and periods of transition in life and sometimes these can have a massive impact on us. In fact, one of the only certainties in life is that things will change! The problem occurs when we have no control over the change.


When change is unexpected, we lose that sense of familiarity and reassurance. Life doesn’t feel ‘normal’ anymore. Everything is uncertain and new. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and drain us of energy.

Change can knock our confidence and sense of identity, too. Once we were sure of ourselves, we knew who we were and our place in the world but now doubt has crept in. The way we used to introduce ourselves or describe what we do, that identity no longer fits.

We may go through a period of grief and anger asking ‘why me?!’ or shouting ‘it’s not fair!’ These are perfectly normal emotions and important that we express them. The key to moving forwards though is to not get stuck in this place.

We could let these new circumstances dictate what we do and restrict our focus. Or, we could choose to see it as an opportunity to review where we are and what we want in life. This is our chance to redefine ourselves and create a new identity.

It’s a time for growth and personal development; to build our resilience so we become better at dealing with whatever life throws at us.

5 tips for dealing with unexpected change

  1. Take time to consider what you really want going forwards. This is your chance to start afresh, so put good foundations in place and don’t rush into anything.
  2. Small steps - challenge yourself with small steps at first. If you stretch yourself too much it can feel overwhelming and create a sense of panic
  3. Be gentle with yourself. Celebrate even the smallest of wins and if things don’t work out as you would like congratulate yourself for trying anyway. Learn from the experience and do something different next time
  4. Be patient; change is a process, not an event. It takes time to change and adjust.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and will handle change in their own way - there is no right or wrong.

When our once familiar life is thrown into disarray and we enter unfamiliar territory it is worth remembering the saying, 'Life begins at the end of our comfort zone'.

Our comfort zone may just be that - comfortable, familiar and secure - but it can also lead to boredom and stagnation. When we begin to stretch and challenge ourselves that’s when the magic happens, when we begin to grow and experience life on a new level. It’s not to say it’s easy or quick but with persistence and determination life can become more fulfilling than we imagined.

Adopting a mindset of curiosity when we are thrown into challenging circumstances can help us move through it. This sort of mindset allows us to see things in a different light and open up opportunities we perhaps hadn’t considered before.

Some questions to ask yourself when contemplating new ideas:

  • What if...?
  • Why not?
  • Why not me?
  • Why not now?

Sometimes flipping things on their head can reveal answers and options that weren’t available before. It can be a useful exercise to simply write down all the things you COULD do, not necessarily will, but could. Realising that we have options can be empowering and give us that bit more confidence again.

Working with a life coach is a great way to navigate periods of change and transition. A coach will provide support, encouragement and appropriate challenge in a safe space; allowing you to contemplate your options so you can move forwards with confidence and a sense of purpose again.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sheffield, County, S5
Written by Rebecca Norton, Life, Well-being, Mindset and Walking Coach
Sheffield, County, S5

Rebecca is a qualified Life Coach and NLP practitioner who is particularly interested in helping people navigate periods of change and transition. She ensures they look after their well-being and helps them move forwards with confidence and a sense of direction often using the outdoors to enhance the process. She is also an experienced trainer.

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