Ten Mistakes People Make During Life Transitions

“Everything in life is in constant motion. Every moment is a mini rebirth, a moment of renewal. To move through life unconscious of this universal movement diminishes our ability to intentionally create the life we are destined to live authentically, powerfully and gracefully.”

~ Alicia M Rodriguez


Nothing in life brings our attention to the present moment like change. We coast through our lives unconsciously assuming tomorrow will be similar to today. But what happens when life conspires to awaken us to new possibilities for our lives? You find yourself on the ledge, looking into a void that holds no ground for anything you knew previously. To stay on the ledge is no longer acceptable.

How do you find the wings to fly towards a new possibility that exists when emptiness becomes the invitation for emergence?

I’ve worked with thousands of people who have been standing on that ledge, knowing they could no longer remain there and afraid to move should they fall into the void. They deny their intuition, caving to the mind that sends messages of fear and conformity, acting as if there could be a knowable plan. 

There is no denying a longing, a call and the element of synchronicity. But it doesn’t happen on a set timetable no matter how much you wish it were so. The waiting becomes unbearable and yet if you sink into it you’ll find that the answers will appear unforced and at the right time.

Your default is to “do something”! If you do something, anything, then you are moving forward, being productive and the illusion of control returns deceiving you into believing that you are doing the “right thing”.

That’s when you make mistakes that can actually delay getting to the destination intended for you.

Here are the ten mistakes I see people consistently make as they attempt to go from here to there in their life.

  1. Impatience. And who isn’t guilty of that? In our hurry up world, you have a kind of alarm clock that goes off at a certain time, a mythic schedule that you must meet. It actually doesn’t exist but that sense of urgency is ingrained in us as much as our need to be doing something. It eases our discomfort but the relief may not be worth the deviation on our path. Discomfort is a doorway to growth.

  2. External Affirmation. This occurs when you’re convinced that you’re crazy and everyone else knows better than you. The thousand of well meaning voices drown out the wise wisdom that is your true compass. No one has to live your life so why are you so concerned with what others think about it?

  3. Myopia. Myopia occurs when you are so focused on the ONE right thing you must do. You lose your peripheral vision and miss the possibilities that surface on the edges of your life. Synchronicity lives on the edges of your life, just beyond your focused view but not outside of your reach. Focusing on the ONE thing you believe is your answer blinds you to other possibilities.

  4. Lone Wolf Syndrome. Independence is positive but not to the extent where you believe that you are completely alone in your endeavor to change. We are humans and we need one another. Asking for support takes more courage than living in a vacuum, not being touched and not touching anyone. Asking for assistance, another point of view or just asking for friendship and support in difficult times nourishes you. You learn from others and give others the joy of being helpful to you. This is part of the lessons you learn through personal growth.

  5. Inertia. You do nothing. Since you don’t have a clear picture of the future you just don’t try to do anything at all. Meditating and reflection alone are not enough. Engaging with others and new activities, approached as an experiment, not seeking the one answer, teaches you about what you really value and where you find meaning and purpose. These experiments may surprise you. You’ll feel depleted when you expect to feel energized. Or you feel inspired where you never considered that activity as an option in your life. Another form of inertia is what happens called “analysis paralysis”. You have so many possibilities you can’t choose one. You submit to analyzing every possibility and forget that life is about experiences not scrutiny. Get out there and experiment with the option that feels most energizing. Curiosity is your greatest ally.

  6. Doubt. Inherent in life transitions is the unknown. Only in the unknown can there emerge something truly new. Everything you already know will only produce an iteration of the same thing. If you are not intentional you will default to your safe place, your previous sense of self, which you know. Doubt enters because something new wants to surface. Rely on your innate wisdom, your intuition and your feelings to trace a path forward. If it doesn’t feel good in your heart or in your body, it’s probably not right for you. Let your intuition and feelings be the litmus test. Your mind is expert at rationalizing and creating fear when the process involves a new identity of self. The ego does not want to let go of it’s safe place.

  7. Control. You cannot control everything, actually most things. You can control your response. Being present to what is right in front of you allows you to notice synchronicity. Life produces what I call “cosmic chuckles” or what one client calls “God winks” which I’m sure are thrown on your path to see if you are paying attention. Pay attention to synchronicity. It’s how the Universe works its magic.

  8. Mindset. A positive mindset is one that is focused on CREATING something. A negative mindset focuses on AVOIDING something. Which are you doing? You cannot create from a negative mindset, only from a positive and optimistic mindset. What’s a mindset? It’s the thoughts that run through your mind that tell you you can or you cannot do something. They tell you to be excited or they shove fear into your heart. Change your thoughts, change your mindset, change your results. And guess what? You can control your thoughts.

  9. Premature Decisions. When you make decisions or commitments as a way to relieve the discomfort of change you are acting prematurely. You still don’t have a clear vision of what your life is becoming. In the absence of that vision, anyone else’s story will do. The external voices will win and you’ll move in their direction. Authenticity comes from knowing oneself. Get to know the person you are becoming and that person will make the right decisions at the right time. Self knowledge drives right action.

  10. Focus on Struggle. Sound familiar? Your attention is on what you don’t have or what’s not happening yet. Or you’re comparing yourself to others, feeling unsuccessful, incompetent or worse. Everything becomes a struggle. Logic may also support this focus on struggle. Just because it’s difficult it doesn’t mean it’s a struggle. Tap into non-attachment, become the observer of your own process, learn from your experiments, from your mistakes and from your victories. Celebrate what is present in your life now and express gratitude daily. Gratitude is the antidote to scarcity.

There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. If you cannot hear it you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls. ~ Howard Thurman

Life transitions are the invitation to go deeper into the fullest expression of who you are in the moment. They dare you to expand and amplify your space on this earth. They call you out, to express what holds the most meaning to you in service of shining your very special and unique light into the dark places of our collective soul.

Focus on the positive, maintain your optimism, get support and play and explore new ways of being in the world. 

Follow your longing. It knows where it’s going. ~ Alicia M. Rodriguez

Note: This post was also published at Thrive Global Journal.


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