Becoming a mother? A wife? Starting a new job? Going freelance? Launching a new business? Whatever new role you’re starting, here are seven ways to adapt and thrive in it.

Have you ever noticed that when you take on a new role it can feel like you are wearing someone else’s clothes? It honestly can feel like you have left your authentic self behind.

By definition, adopting a new role such as becoming a new leader at work or in your community, a new wife, a new mom, a single-once-again woman and/or a new single mom, entails growth and change, and more often than not, this creates internal resistance in all of us.

Ever noticed that in yourself?

Change requires us to give up many things that are familiar in life. It also asks that we cross over an “edge” to a new and unfamiliar side. And that can have us feeling disoriented and frightened, like strangers in a strange land. If we are to successfully make this change, we must lead that change in our own life.

Seven ways you can adapt to a new role

If you’re transitioning to a new role, no matter whether you initiated the change yourself, or it was foisted upon you, there are many ways to approach this and lead yourself through, as smoothly as possible. Here are seven strategies to adopt.

1) Look within

To grow and change as you adapt to a new role, it is essential to focus internally. You must learn to lead yourself from within.

Leading from within is the ability to know yourself. Ask yourself the following six questions:

1. Who am I and who do I want to be in this role?
2. What are some of the positive outcomes of being in this new role?
3. What do I want to contribute, change, and create in this new role?
4. What does it mean for me to lead from within in this new role?
5. How do I need to act and think in order to be the best version of myself?
6. What frightens me the most about this new role?

When you lead from within, you take the time to define a direction for your life and for yourself in the new role.

You have to be clear on your values and the kind of environment you want to live, work, and play in. You must learn to make decisions that move you in a direction that is aligned with your answers to the above questions.

You need consistency, clarity, and transparency over time. And, of course, don’t be surprised when you find that you need to revisit these questions and your vision of yourself as the leader of your life, regardless of your role, on a regular basis.

Move in the direction aligned with your answers. Repeat often. That is what leading from within is.

2) Let your brilliance shine

Simply put, find out what’s unique about you, and use your unique strengths and talents to your advantage.

Do a 360 Feedback, do Strengthsfinder, do a Lumina Spark Assessment, do MBTI… there are many tools that can help you focus on your strengths, talents, and skills. And once you know what they are, tell everyone!

It’s interesting that most of us seem to take our strengths for granted. I guess we believe that our strengths have come from an unseen source and will take care of themselves.

The thing is, our brains’ neurochemistry often has us paying closer attention to the negative, and we therefore mistakenly think that in order to do well in our new roles, we need to focus on fixing our weaknesses and everything else that is wrong with us. But don’t be fooled!

Gallup’s 40-year study of human strengths (Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0) says that “People who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general”.

Work on your strengths. Leverage them and watch your brilliance shine.

3) Have a vision

Having a vision gives you purpose and meaning. Your vision must help you see who you must BE, what you must DO, and what you will HAVE in your new role. And that vision must be clear, compelling, and inspiring to you in order for you to make it a reality.

Your vision has the power to be the architect of your reality! If you’re a freelancer or business owner, formalise your vision by writing vision and mission statements. (It won’t help writing one for your career vision, too.)

4) Connect to build relationships and belong

In your new role, it is very important for you to find a community of like-minded people. It is imperative that you find your tribe and you do all that you can to connect with that tribe.

Belonging is a basic human need, and it is probably one of the most important needs we have. Building strong relationships with your tribe will be a crucial support in your new role.

5) Have an open mind – be curious, ask questions

As you tap into your leader within and try to navigate the strange land your new role has you in, be curious.

Be inquisitive and find out more about this new land and your tribe’s experiences. Through questioning, curiosity, and suspension of judgment, you will have new perspectives, and discover new options and ways to deal in your new role.

You will find your ability to truly understand your new tribe and its realities will massively increase. And it will be from this new understanding that you will create relationships that support your own transformation and development in your new role.

Understand new realities with an open mind, curiosity and good questions.

6) Be courageous and vulnerable

As Brene Brown tells us, courage and vulnerability, although they seem like opposite sides of the coin, are actually inextricably tied. Just think about it; you must be courageous to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable requires that you have courage.

Courage and vulnerability are important to you in your new role because these are the qualities that put you in the space to get the help that you will need. Courage and vulnerability enable you to admit you don’t know something, admit you need help, and then take the risk to ask for that help.

And remember, no matter how well prepared you are for your new role,you cannot always get things right the first time. So the reality is that success in your new role is most likely to be preceded by some failures.

So ramp up your courage, show your vulnerability, and try out that new role in a variety of ways. And when it isn’t working as you had hoped, have the courage to be seen, get some help and remember, growing into your new role requires you to be able to experience failures.

Learn from them and move forward. The bonus is that these occurrences will provide some of your most useful lessons. In the end, failure by itself is not something anyone wants. It’s the success that follows failure that we all seek. All of us fail at some point; it’s getting up again and moving forward that counts.

So learn to embrace failure – it’s the first step on the journey to success.

7) Work with a coach

The best way to grow your inner leader so that you transition gracefully into your new role is to have external support.

Coaches can be a powerful resource for you at this time. They can help you get out of your own way, stand out, and take action to achieve the things that are truly important to you. They help you to understand your path and your purpose and keep you grounded and focused.

Coaches help you identify and address your patterns, both positive and negative. They can help you identify your own unique path to success on your new journey. Isn’t it time you hired a coach?

Carol Henry supports individuals, teams and organizations to leverage individual and team strengths. Book a complimentary call with Carol now.

Photo by Sandie Clarke
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