1. Let whatever emotional pain you are experiencing come into your awareness.
What are your hopes and fears about the future? List them. What memories come from the past? Painful memories tend to lose their power when they are published. Secrets become more and more powerful. You can use journaling to publish your memories and talk them over with trusted friends and supporters.
2. Reach out for support.
Don’t’ try to go it alone. Mentors, sponsors, friends, trusted relatives, can all be approached. Usually we don’t need help with advice or problem solving. We often need to be listened to. It’s rare to find good listeners, but we have to keep searching.
3. Now that we are aware and feel supported, we can begin to reframe the pain and turn it into a challenge.
It’s most important to turn the experience of a new beginning into a learning activity. Carefully consider what you can learn from this new beginning and make that more important than the outcome. If we let go of the outcome and invest in learning, we set up a situation that allows us to succeed no matter what happens.
4. Intervene with yourself.
We need to develop a positive self-talk, in which we remind ourselves that we are no longer little school kids. As adults we have choices; we aren’t helpless to change bad situations. You don’t need a therapist to have this kind of therapy session.
5. Visualize a successful conclusion to the new beginning.
If you are going to a job interview, you can visualize yourself leaving the office while the interviewer is telling you how well you have done, and imagine the feelings of pride and competence. Spend some time fantasizing about this most successful conclusion.
David Fireman, LCSW