How To Cope With Major Life Transitions When Change Makes You Nervous

Change is scary. That doesn't mean it's bad for you.

young woman looks nervous in sunglasses

The one thing that never stops is change. Ether, we adapt to the changing world or be doomed to a life of disappointment, anger, and frustration.

 Are you one of the many overwhelmed by all our responsibilities and the constant change in the world? You are not alone. 

Are you feeling stuck in a job you don't enjoy because you are afraid of failing in something new? Are you in a relationship that sucks your life out because you fear being alone?


Being nervous about major life transitions is natural. But the changes to come in your life may be exactly what you need.

It is easy to get stuck in lethargy. You are tired and do not feel like you have the energy or money to try something new. The good news is that there is a way out of this.

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Here are five tips for managing your life transitions

1. Learn to love yourself

Are you your best friend? Are you able to accept yourself as you are? Respecting yourself for who you are is lifelong work.   


You, like all of us, have an inner critic. Your inner critic tries to keep you safe by keeping you to what you already know. Any time you think of something new, it will come crashing down, trying to stop you from living your life to the fullest. Over time you will see the difference in the tone of voice of the inner critic compared to your true self.

Instead of panicking when these negative thoughts flood your mind, see this as a call to do something new. Invite your inner critic to trust your inner self to know what is right for you. Ask the inner critic to support you in your new endeavors. 

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2. Discern your strengths and growing edges

I am not perfect, and neither are you. You are human, and that makes you flawed. So stop being so hard on yourself.


There are many ways to do this work. You might want to journal what you think are your strengths and growing edges. After you write, you can share them with a friend or family member you trust to give you honest, compassionate answers.

How we think others experience us can be different than how others see us. Tools such as the Enneagram can help you know how you show up in the world. The Enneagram can reflect back to us, mirroring how others see us at our best and worst. Not only does the Enneagram show us where we get stuck, but it also offers us a way to freedom.

It would help if you worked and played at healing your whole self; this will take time. You will benefit from caring for your body, emotions, and mind.

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3. Focus on one thing you would like to change in your life

You will discover if you have not already done so that you will realize that you have a lot of work to do. To be human is to be imperfect.

You can not change everything at once. What is your biggest priority right now? Remember to take many small steps.

You might have a friend or family member who can support and encourage you in this work. A professional coach or counselor might be better able to challenge you because this person's role is to help you see your truth. They may find it easier to ask the hard questions that a friend would have a hard time asking.

It would be best if you were gentle with yourself as you do this work. Find people in your life who will bring out the best in you. Ask yourself, who are the people who understand me? Who are the people who are going to be honest with me because they care about you? Who can you count on who will stay friends with you no matter what happens?


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4. Find a spiritual practice

There are spiritual practices for everyone. It is all about you connecting to the mystery within you.

With intention, you can make many activities a spiritual practice, such as cooking, gardening, walking, singing, cleaning, washing the dishes, or anything that helps you quiet your mind and notice what is happening within yourself.

The great thing about spiritual practices is that you can do them on your own or in groups, large or small.

There are now a considerable variety of meditation apps, such as "Insight Timer." Some of them have a free version like the one above.


If you are part of a religious community, you can find the practices of your tradition.

Something you can do alone at any time is to sit down and be quiet. You can focus on breathing to calm your mind and be open to what you experience. There is no right or wrong way to meditate.

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5. Take the first small step toward this life transition 

Once you figure out your first small step, it is time to move into action. Break down your goal into many small steps. Find a person to hold you accountable.

Do not try to go too fast. Make sure you take time to do your self-care. Get plenty of exercises, eat well and make time for fun.


If you don't have a family or community to support, find people to make up your team.

Making real change in your life is not something to do alone. You will need all the support you can get.

Remember, your inner critic will act because you are doing something new. A raucous mind is a sign you are getting ready to make a significant change in your life. As you become aware of when your inner critic is active, you can choose whether you want to pay attention to it.  

As you change your life, celebrate with friends and family the growth you are experiencing. Your friends and family will notice that you are changing.


You are now on a new journey. Welcome the new way of life this transition has offered.

When you overcome one issue in your life, another one will appear. However, over time you still start to notice a difference.

You will notice that things that used to trigger you no longer do so. People who used to irritate you no longer trigger you.

Many things will come a little easier to you. You will better understand what you want to do in your life. You will pick friends and partners that bring out the best in you.

To your surprise and everyone else, you will do things you would have never dreamed up doing in the past.

 Your time on earth is precious. Make the best of each moment. Accepting that life is in transition will give you a great lens to see and experience your way through all the changes.


Go out and show yourself and the world the awesomeness of you!

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Roland Legge can help you to stop self-sabotaging relationships. Roland is a Certified Identity Life Coach and a minister in the United Church of Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.