The last couple of posts have discussed the prospect of choice in change and transitions. Today I want to talk about what happens when there are lots of changes taking place all at once. A new job, becoming an empty-nester, a recent retirement, becoming an instant parent as a result of a new relationship, becoming an expectant parent, getting a divorce, moving to a new home, city or country, and so on. Any one of these scenarios can be considered big changes on their own, but when coupled with one or more additional changes, things can become overwhelming.
Beliefs can be deceiving.
When it comes to change, it is often easy to feel as though it is happening to us, and that we are powerless when within its clutches. As I've previously written, this belief of powerlessness can be an illusion, both within change and our transitions, because even when we think we have no choice in the situation, often times we do; we just might not like the options.
When there's too much,
But what happens when we have multiple changes occurring at the same time? If each change includes at least two choices, and how we adapt or transition to them includes even more options from which to choose, it is easy to become overwhelmed and/or to get stuck in the mud due to what's called decision fatigue.
Focus on what's most important.
Multiple changes all at once can thrust us into the throngs of chaos, and the way out of chaos is order through clarity. So when feeling like there are too many choices to make because of multiple concurrent changes in your life, take a step back and prioritize.
One way to do this is to make a list of all of the changes, and all of the choices within each change, then list the choices in order of priority. A similar option is to adapt Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle to that of choices. I personally like to put the four options into a two-by-two matrix, but do whatever works best for you.
Now that we've got the order part down, there is one other thing to keep in mind; maintaining balance between thought and emotion to gain true clarity. More on this in tomorrow's post.
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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