A Conversation With Mackenzie Reinhardt
This time of year is a time for transition, a time when we prepare for one season come to a close, while another one launches. Whether you're transitioning something like your wardrobe or taking on a bigger life transition, all types of transitions can bring growth to your life if you allow them to. The idea of transition, or "change" can be daunting, and even evoke fear in us - especially if we are entering into something with an unknown outcome. Yet it can bring us knowledge, insight and positive growth in our lives, even if what we are facing is challenging or uncomfortable.
In my conversation with Mackenzie she told me her feelings as she prepares to head to her first year of college. She told me how’s she’s preparing herself for the big life transition that comes with it, including getting use to new people and a new environment nine hours away from home.
Our talk reminded me of the first time I left for college, as well as other big transitions I’ve since had in life. Over time, I’ve found there are some tried-and-true tactics that can be helpful in making the road of transition be a little less rocky. Here are my go-to thoughts and actions to take when the stress of transition starts to creep in.
It's Ok to Feel Emotional
Let's use the idea of transitioning a wardrobe for example. When transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall, it's normal to feel emotional. The idea of summer coming to a close can be challenging, especially if you live in an area like North Dakota, where the idea of winter means -30 (or more) degrees. We look at our summer clothes, wishing the beautiful weather can last forever. Know that these thoughts and feelings are totally normal., e can (and should) take a moment to remember all the happy moments summer has brought to our life, and we can rest assure that summer will come again. How can we apply this thought process to other challenges we're facing in life?
It's Ok to Take Processing Time
Processing transitions takes time, and it's healthy to give ourselves that time and not rush any decisions. The thought of overhauling your wardrobe in one day is overwhelming. Imagine if we packed all of our summer clothes up in one day, and only had fall items in our closet. The clothes wouldn't work, and we would end up overheating most days because summer's transition is gradual. Similarly you can think of your wardrobe. Instead take it piece by piece, transitioning slowly over time. Add a light jacket or two to replace a few tank tops or layer tights or leggings with summer bottoms, and so on. Can you think of other places in your life when you can take time and gradually take on change?
Find Enjoyment in the Process
This is the one I’ve struggled with the most in times of transition. Because I’m so focused on my fear on the unknown, I overlook moments of joy in the process. One helpful way of overcoming this is a tactic I learned from Tony Robbins - which is to meet each negative or fear based thought with something positive. For example, thinking about sub-zero temps when transitioning your wardrobe can bring up fear and worry. Instead, meet that thought with a thought of cuddling up with someone you love by a warm fire and wearing cozy sweaters.
Accept the Challenge as Part of Your Unique Journey
Everyone has a unique journey; the life path they’re meant to travel. When we spend our time thinking about others’ journeys as better, more fulfilling or happier, we get ourselves into a mindset that blocks us from seeing the joy in our own journey. Celebrate the journey as yours and unique to you. Accept the challenges as opportunities to grow as a person.
So, this means celebrate the sweaters, the boots, the hats and all the other cold winter gear you may have already started to think about in this last stretch of summer. Think of it as an opportunity to express yourself in a new way in the season to come, and remember that the seasons, as well as seasons of life, are always changing. We are never in one season for our entire lives. Find joy in change as it comes, and let go of fears of the unknown.
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Enjoy my interview with Mackenzie here!
Mackenzie Reinhardt | Speciality: Photographer & Student | Fun Fact: Mackenzie is a volleyball player & is interested in many creative fields, including painting, photography and graphic design.