There comes a time in many of our lives where we crave change. Whether it is a new job, new home, new friendships, new romances. All of these promote a change of scenery which comes at a price. In my personal experience, navigating a life change can be both positive and negative. We approach new experiences sometimes already assuming we are an outcast, which is a harsh feeling. The truth is, that we are not alone in these feelings. We all face these challenges at some point in our lives and how we cope is the most important part.
As an individual counselor in Orlando, I often see clients who ask how they can create a sense of belonging. For those new to the Orlando community, I want to share ways in which you can become more acclimated to the city. Orlando seems large, but once you understand it - it becomes rather small.
Check out the City of Orlando's website. It provides local events in the community for you to attend, classes to sign up for, and volunteer opportunities. Attend farmer's markets, small city shops, or studios based on your interests to enhance that belongingness.
One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was to enter places, events, restaurants, etc. with the mindset that it is an opportunity to connect with someone new. Entering into a scenario with that mindset helps open you up to these opportunities that in the past you may not have seen or even paid attention to. Become a frequent at a local coffee shop. Adverse yourself in clubs or organizations. Open yourself to new opportunities.
Other ways to connect with new people are meetups. Meetup Orlando is a website that targets different interests and connects people with these interests through a meet up in the community. From scuba diving to kite flying, to photography - there is something new to try every week on this website. If you use social media, Facebook Events is a great tool to see what is going on in the area as well. Both of these sites show you how many people are attending or are interested, decide what you are comfortable with and give it a try.
As a counselor, the biggest concern I have for those dealing with these tough transitions is the inability to try. When we find ourselves in these situations where we feel isolated, lonely, or that we don't have a support system, we tend to become comfortable with these feelings and purposely isolate ourselves.
Ask yourself a few questions that can help you break out of your comfort zone:
What can I do today to make this feeling better?
What is one thing today I can do? No good has come from staying in our comfort zones, that uncomfortable feeling is temporary. You will adjust. You will find yourself. All we can do is try, and if we fail, all we can do is try again. Don't let the fear of failure hold you back from your wants and needs.
If you're having difficulty finding a place to start, or are having a hard time adjusting to change in the Orlando area, speak to an Orlando Thrive Therapy counselor today. The author of this article can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can help build confidence, accountability, and motivation to challenge your comfort zone.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.