Navigating Change | Aligning Courage and Growth with Life’s Transitions

Mona Khalil
5 min readMay 2, 2024

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I thought I knew what I wanted.

I earned the degrees while working full-time. I landed the jobs with multiple rounds of interviews and a case study. I worked long hours for the title. And yet, it was nothing I had imagined it would be. Once I lifted my head from doing to being, I realized I was surrounded by people I didn’t want to BE with.

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” — Jackie Robinson

In this journey called life, I’ve learned it’s a team sport. When establishing my career, I failed to consider those in power who lacked both humanity and qualifications to lead. Integrity and respect are what I give and hope to get in return. And yet, I found myself in spaces where integrity and respect were valued selectively. I’ve had to constantly advocate for myself, providing receipts for awareness of actions or credentialing my worth in spaces that weren’t designed to support me in the first place. It’s a relentless battle between asserting my presence and preserving my spirit. When my life is in transition, I remind myself I am going through a transformation. When I feel ungrounded, I anchor in my values and seek creativity to guide me back to who I am at my core. Courage and growth are my anchors.

When navigating change, it can be valuable to:

  1. Honor your voice

I don’t have professional values and personal values. I have one set of values: Courage and Growth. They are the essence of who I am. Aligning with my values is a tool to remind me who I am and why I make the decisions I do.

In honoring my voice, I’ve learned the importance of discernment. I know when a situation no longer serves me, and I call upon courage to walk away. I refuse to engage in exchanges of disrespect and negativity. I will not be confined by someone else’s narrative of who I am. Instead, I unapologetically create my own path. I recognize that walking away from toxicity is a privilege, one that I don’t take for granted. Even without a safety net, I wholeheartedly believe where I’m headed is better than where I’ve been expected to stay. Trusting the process reveals that there are many blessings in new beginnings. With each step forward, I reaffirm my commitment to living authentically and aligned with my values.

Anything I feel the need to walk away from wasn’t for me in the first place.

2. Give yourself permission to take another path

Regular self-check-ins serve as my compass, guiding me through the shifting landscapes of life. What worked for me at one point may not work at another. Life comes in waves. When I audit my life, I recognize the continuum of highs and lows. I have to recalibrate over and over. Embracing change and its peaks and valleys is an integral part of growth.

I honor the wisdom of my emotions, understanding that they are the compass guiding me toward integrity and truth. When accountability falters, I do not shy away from voicing my concerns, for silence only perpetuates injustice. Endings are not failures but gateways to new beginnings.

When I hold pain, I can reshape it.

3. Let go

I transform pain into strength and embrace the power of release.

Letting go of what no longer serves me opens the door to transformation. It’s not just about exiting a job; it’s about seizing the opportunity to redefine myself, my routines, and the standards by which I live. I understand that staying in situations that diminish me is a betrayal of my core value of courage. When I find myself constrained, minimized, or disrespected, it signals that I’m straying from my core value of growth. I reclaim my power by letting go and stepping into the arena of a life lived authentically. Letting go can be hard. There is a sense of loss in giving up something you fought hard to get, even when you’ve learned that you no longer want to keep it. When I let go, I continue to reshape who I am and who I am not.

4. Re-envision what is next

I have to create in the midst of storms.

I dare to reimagine what lies ahead, knowing that many spaces are designed to stifle rather than nurture my true essence. When I live into my values I go to a creative place. I create something from nothing. I tap into a reservoir of inspiration. It’s a vulnerable and sacred connection with my innermost self. I embrace the childlike wonder of exploration. Whether it’s arranging CDs on a wall as an art piece, writing poetry, or creating something from nothing with legos.

Creativity isn’t bound by rules, structure, or time. It’s a wild, untamed space beyond the confines of our comfort zone. Creativity can show up in the form of doing things that scare or embarrass us. It’s about daring to try, fail, and learn. Creativity can help us connect the dots of our feelings, thoughts, and being. It’s about experimenting with voice, career, and life. In this journey of self-discovery and transition, creativity guides me to the illuminating path ahead. Creativity is the practice of courage.

5. Anchor in your values

When I can anchor in my values, they foundationally ground me.

My journey forward is about infusing each day with the wisdom gleaned from past experiences. My lessons are my blessings. I’ve come to appreciate the significance of curating my inner circle, for the quality of my relationships mirrors my values. I embrace each closed door as an opportunity for renewal, trusting in the power of new beginnings. With each step, I welcome the emergence of new connections and opportunities in my life. I am confident in my ability to navigate the unknown with grace and authenticity.

What are your values? Interested in identifying your values? Check out the Living Into Our Values with Brené Brown

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Mona Khalil

Name Dipped In Mango | Transformational Leadership Coach & Consultant | Peace Corps, Tesla, LinkedIn Alum | Author of #iwritelettersinmythoughts 🇬🇾🥭🇪🇬