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Life’s New Chapters

Life’s New Chapters

Five Things You Should Know Before Transitioning to a New Chapter in Life

My oldest niece asked me to do her makeup for prom again this year. It was my last opportunity to do it, since she will be heading to college in the fall.

She is a bright, kind, smart, funny young woman and to sound totally cliché- I can’t believe how fast time has gone! Listening to her and her sisters talk about makeup, clothes and part-time jobs- I found myself thinking back to my senior year of High School and all the excitement I had for the next chapter in my life. I would be going to college in a neighboring state where I felt like I was going to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up. The possibilities were endless!

That’s what the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter in life is supposed to feel like. Excitedly (and maybe a bit nervously) stepping out of your comfort zone to grow and learn more about yourself. With that growth also comes mistakes and failures. It’s part of gaining experience and building resilience. It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know that opens the door to those experiences. Do you know how to tell if a new friend or mentor is someone you can trust?

Most of us grew up being told, “Never talk to strangers”. Well guess what- when you grow up in the same town, with the same people, and you leave for the next chapter in your life, you’re going to meet a whole lot of strangers. If you never learned how to talk to strangers, how to read body language, how to understand the ways a person might try and manipulate you to do something you don’t want to do or the situations that can potentially turn dangerous, you’re going to get a life lessons crash course with bigger consequences.

 

Here are five things to know before stepping into a new chapter in life:

1. Make charm a verb
Instead of saying, “they are so charming!” say “they are trying to charm me” and then ask yourself why. Why is this stranger trying to charm me? Is it innocent or are they trying to get me to do something I don’t want to do?

 

2. Too many details
Liars will give too many details when they’re telling their fabricated story because they KNOW they’re lying and they’re trying to convince themselves and you they’re telling the truth.

 

3. The unsolicited promise
“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise”. Uhm…well that’s great to know but why would they feel the need to say that in the first place?

 

4. Messengers of intuition
Fear, dark humor, apprehension, nagging feelings, hesitation-these are just a few of the ways your intuition will try and communicate with you. The greatest of these messengers is fear. When you feel fear, you need to stop and pay attention to what’s going on. There are two main truths to intuition – 1) it’s always in response to something present and 2) it always has your best interest in mind.

 

5. Baselines & anomalies
Baselines are what you would normally expect to see in a particular environment. A library will have a very different baseline than a college hockey game. An anomaly is something or someone that doesn’t fit the baseline. Is someone being loud in the library? Is someone sitting in their seat when the hockey team scores the game-winning goal? Keep in mind, context matters! Maybe they’re sitting at the hockey game while everyone is cheering because they were cheering for the other team. The important thing to remember is to watch for anomalies and ask yourself if it’s something you need to pay more attention to. 

By learning and understanding these basics of situational awareness, you can start to hone your instincts and make safer choices in your daily life.

In my life, the crazy and amazing opportunities happened when I stepped out of my comfort zone and traveled to new places and met new people. I want the same opportunities for you! I want you to have the confidence to make safe and smart choices to live life on your own terms.

 

“The most interesting things in life happen just on the other side of your comfort zone.” -Michael Hyatt