Feeling at crossroads in your life and work can be an uncomfortable place to be. It can bring up all sorts of feelings like uncertainty, fear, regret and feeling stuck.
Feeling at crossroads can happen for many reasons – maybe you have realised that decisions and choices you made in the past no longer serve you; maybe you have got to a stage of life where you are questioning the status quo and what you want your life and work to be like; maybe you want more fulfillment, meaning and purpose; maybe your personal or professional circumstances have changed for some reason and you are trying to work out your options and next steps, or maybe you just feel ready for a change.
Here are keys to weathering life’s crossroads:
1. Find out what matters to you
Do you carry any life principles that you’d never bend backward on regardless of what situations you come across? What do you value? Friendships? Morality? Integrity? Family? Loyalty? Knowledge? These will help you weigh the pros and cons of your decisions in the majority of the tough situations you will come across.
If you have the opportunity to relocate overseas for work but you are a family person, how do you decide when you value both family and career? Which matters more to you?
2. Don’t resist the change
When we attempt to force, control and manipulate the course of event, we are responding out of fear. It is a common experience that some people are so fearful that they refuse to effect change without comprehending that choosing not to make a decision or act in any way is itself a choice.
We must come to understand that our habitual and learned ways of coping with uncertainty and stress should constantly be re-evaluated as we travel along life’s journey. Rather we must move with the changes, not against them.
3. Understand who you are
Do you prefer stability or you’re one that like a good challenge? Are you patient or fickle-minded? Do you value quality or aesthetic? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What sort of character and personality do you have? Are you practical or idealistic? Do you tend to sit on the fence or stand firm on your point of view? Are you strong-willed or easy-going?
The little-known facts about you matter because often times when we choose to ignore who we are and choose something we’re not, or try to become someone we’re not, we become unhappy and disgruntled in our earlier decisions.
4. Set boundaries and limitations
Set boundaries on things that will distract you from progress. In doing so, you will be allowing yourself to strive to create balance in what, with a different attitude, appears to be utter chaos. Letting go of your own agenda, and that of others, and ridding yourself of distractions lets you hear your own thoughts.
Sometimes, less is more, and doing less when presented with a crossroads will give you more time to be in the present. Being here and now is a state that deserves respect and is one in which you can ask yourself the question: “If there is one area of my life that needs more balance, which is it?”
5. Pick up lessons learned from tough experiences
Changes and adversities can build or break a person, depending on how we respond. How do we see the light in dark times? What can we learn from tough situations? How do we make decisions that are best for us, even with much uncertainties and insecurities?
Stagnant and stable times may be good, but they cause us to be complacent. We fall into routines that we do almost on autopilot mode, yet nothing ever seems to change or improve. Choices allow us the opportunity to do something different, or even start afresh.
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