The Cartier Report: Tips for a seamless springtime transition

Springtime is 'an early or flourishing stage of development'

By Jacqueline Cartier
The Cartier Report
Jacqueline Cartier
Special to the Daily

According to Merriam-Webster, springtime is “an early or flourishing stage of development.”

Springtime in Colorado can be one day with 12 inches of snow, followed by another and then 50-degree temperatures. As with weather, so is life, filled with ups and downs and the potential of an avalanche.

Throughout the valley, change and excitement are in the air. Seasonal employees are preparing to head home. Second-home owners are packing up for their summer retreat. Businesses are ready for their semi-annual escape. And, some are preparing for life changes: kids off to college, entrepreneurs beginning new ventures, families upsizing or downsizing — transition energy fills the air every spring.

Change is bittersweet. They say, the devil you know is better than the one you don’t, and it hits us all as we plan for thrilling new beginnings while second-guessing our decisions. But what happens if the transitions are the result of unwelcomed surprises?

What about a lost job, a recent breakup, an unplanned move, an unfavorable medical checkup, a car that decided you had nothing better to do with $2,000, or the loss of someone dear? Transitions in life can take a toll on a normally optimistic outlook. 

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As we stress about change and grieve loss, we must be careful not to get stuck in a loop of self-pity.  We’ve all been there — the desire to hide in bed and binge Netflix with a pint of ice cream, wondering, what if we had just said this or done that. A replay with no winning outcome — and the recurring question of, “Why me?” 

Yet, we must move on. To attempt to gain something positive from the experience, remembering the event but removing the entangled emotion. To recall but not relive is critical to a successful end-game.  The question is, how?

First, we must accurately evaluate what happened. Our emotions can cause a distorted view of events, so it’s helpful to ask, “Could what occurred mean something different than what is perceived? Was it a random incident, or the result of an unintended consequence or misunderstanding? Are we being overly sensitive due to unrelated issues? Do we truly have all the information about the incident? This reflection can reframe our view of the entire situation and determine how we move forward.

When we feel under attack, it’s easy to get defensive but with proper perspective, we can begin to heal. Here are a few strategies to help with this process. 

First, we must regain control. Empowerment comes from releasing the victim of “why me” and replacing them with the warrior of “bring it on.” Rather than focus on excuses, even if justified, we must begin evaluating new possibilities, which may result from this unexpected situation. Moving forward may seem overwhelming but we have lived through tough times before; we can handle this.    

In trauma, we are reminded of the mind-body connection, yet few think of it in reverse.  Just as our minds control our bodies, so does the body provide direction to the mind. We are sensory and that feedback trains our mind’s response. 

When fearful, the inclination is for our body to curl up (primal need to protect vital organs). A victim is easy to spot. Physically, they slouch, speak softly, walk with caution, breathe shallowly and avoid eye contact.

By contrast, when feeling powerful, they exhibit a commanding presence; standing erect, speaking with confidence, directly engaging, because they rule, and they know it. 

How do we regain that confidence? An athlete will say it’s a head game. You must repeatedly imagine yourself succeeding. There is an unwavering belief that you cannot fail. You control the internal dialogue. How you stand, breathe, speak and carry yourself must exude total confidence. “Fake it ‘till you make it” is a way of life for anyone attempting to break barriers and move beyond expectations.

Expecting a positive outcome is like finding your keys in the same place you just looked; once you knew they had to be there, you located them.  When positive, you locate opportunity where you previously thought none existed.

It’s tough being sad while smiling. Positivity is a way of life. When uncertain, close your eyes and remember a time when you felt amazing, successful or powerful. How did you sound? How did you sit, stand, move? That calm, steady and commanding presence is still you.  Take a slow deep breath and duplicate that state, down to the most minute detail — you’re back! 

Prepare a list of accomplishments. Record them and play it daily. Repetition is required to counter the negative messages you receive when things don’t go accordingly. 

When obstacles come to mind, reframe. Focus on what you have gained from this experience — a new image of what’s possible, a new vision of you. Remember, “Greatness is a Choice” — Nike.

Jacqueline Cartier is a political and corporate consultant in Colorado and Washington, D.C. She may be contacted at For further information, visit

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