“What about letting gray hair grow is courageous, exactly?”
That was what actress Sarah Jessica Parker said when being called “brave” for aging naturally and letting her gray hair shine.
I’m gonna disagree with the fabulous SJP and say it IS brave because she is embracing a transition rather than hiding from it.
Whether it’s aging or location or a job or a relationship, we tend to shy away from dealing with change.
But why are transitions so scary?
It’s part of our human psychology. We tend to perceive more emotional pain from loss than we anticipate joy from gains. So we naturally contract inward to prevent loss, rather than reaching out for something better.
We know for certain that we currently have things to lose, yet have no idea what exactly we will gain.
The trouble is that change is a consistent experience of life. We will eventually lose, well, everything. That feels terrifying, so rather than grapple with the difficult emotions that loss brings up, we would rather pretend it’s not happening.
As long as you’re hiding from the feelings that loss brings up, you will not be able to create a strong or graceful transition.
I don’t know about you, but moving through changes with grace inspires me. If an obstacle is coming, I want to see it ahead of time, make a plan, and hurdle it as smoothly as possible.
That’s how I’m taking care of my future self, rather than leaving her to grapple with something huge at the last minute.
Here’s three things you can do to overcome the fear of transitions.
- Spend some time allowing your feelings of sadness and fear.
- Figure out what losses you can cope with and make a plan for them.
- Focus on the possibilities.
You can do hard things. And they are so often worth it.