Five Tips for Navigating Life’s Most Challenging Transitions

Discover 5 tips I offer clients when navigating some of life’s most challenging transitions.

There’s no way around it—life can be hard, especially during a difficult transition.

And while some of these transitions may be in your control, like the decision to leave a spouse or move to a new city, many are out of your control, like the death of a loved one or losing your home in a wildfire. And for some, life transitions can be layered with complexity, like losing a parent while managing a sudden windfall. 

Each of these transitions can turn your world upside down.

The goal is to navigate these transitions with clarity and confidence, but that can be a major challenge. That’s because many of these transitions are demanding enough from an emotional standpoint, and they can feel downright impossible when figuring out how they impact your money.

Through my work as a financial planner, I help my clients overcome these difficult transitions, not only accounting for how it affects their money but also how it affects their life as a whole. 

Read on to discover 5 tips I offer clients when navigating some of life’s most challenging transitions.

Here Are 5 Tips for Navigating Some of Life’s Most Challenging Transitions

“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

—Viktor Frankl

1. Do your best to stay present.

When faced with a difficult transition, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

That’s because our mind moves out of the current moment and spins up fears or thoughts about what could happen in the future. Whether or not these thoughts are right, if we allow ourselves to get caught up in what could happen, our decision-making abilities are diminished in the present moment. This can lead to incredible stress, overwhelm, and even an inability to act.

Instead, do your best to stay present, focusing on the now.

2. Focus on the next step.

One of the best ways to stay present is to focus on the next step.

When navigating a challenging transition, it’s essential to break it down into component parts. Each of these parts becomes the next step on your journey to healing. This will not only help you stay present but also reduce stress and overwhelm as it shrinks even the largest of transitions.

When working with clients, my first goal is to help them outline a clear action plan to navigate their transition. This outline provides a detailed step-by-step plan for their money, with a clear explanation of their expected results. This helps them understand precisely what to do next while also understanding where they can expect to end up financially.

Remember that transitions are a journey, and journeys are completed one step at a time.

3. Remind yourself of your past successes.

When faced with a difficult transition, it can be helpful to remind yourself of your past successes.

Odds are, you’ve been faced with a difficult transition before, and you’ve made it out the other side. This can be a great reminder that you can do this—you are capable of doing hard things. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. 

And remember that it doesn’t have to be the same challenge you’ve overcome previously. 

For example, if you’re in the midst of a divorce, consider all the hard things you’ve done before. Perhaps you’ve already sent your final child off to college or lost a parent or loved one—and while becoming an empty nester or losing a loved one is not the same as getting a divorce, it’s proof that you can do hard things.

You can increase your confidence and peace of mind by pausing to reflect on your previous successes and obstacles.

4. Keep moving forward.

There’s an old saying: If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Difficult transitions are the same. If you can continue moving forward, avoiding getting stuck in the past or trapped in the moment, you are one step closer to coming out the other side. This isn’t to say that you need to rush things, as healing can take time. But it is saying that the sooner you can accept things for what they are and move forward, the sooner you will be able to reflect on this transition as a distant memory.

5. Be open to help.

Lastly, you don’t have to walk this journey alone.

Many resources are available when navigating a difficult transition, so don’t be afraid to accept help. But unfortunately, our pride can often stand in the way of getting help, forcing us to white-knuckle through the challenges. So instead, try to remind yourself that sometimes you can offer help, and sometimes you can accept it.

And remember, whether relying on your friends and family, your local community or seeking professional expertise, help can mean the difference between successfully navigating a transition and falling short of the mark. 

I am here to help.

As a CFP® professional with more than 25 years of experience, I am here to help. My work is centered on you, with a specific focus on helping you align your money with your values. I use a one-on-one approach to financial planning and help my clients create successful financial outcomes, no matter the challenges. 

Through our work together, you can expect a financial plan tailored to your unique situation while covering every aspect of your financial life. I specialize in navigating difficult transitions, helping my clients with everything from how to manage  a sudden windfall,  navige a difficult divorce, or transition to retirement after years of working. 

If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit my website at Hinman Financial or schedule a complimentary call below.