As summer winds down, and the new school and work year winds up, many of us face a point of transition.
This transition resembles a new beginning. For some, this is an opportunity to re-define oneself; a time to start fresh with an opportunity to put a ‘new you’ forward. For others, this transition is a reminder to re-find who you are; to take time and look within at what has been hidden or dormant, and re-start your system.
Whether you are re-defining or re-finding, this transition greatly impacts your identity: who you are, and where you are headed.
Identity is core to who we are as humans. It dictates how with think, interact, collaborate and connect. It drives our successes, and our failures, and it’s something that sticks with us always, no matter what we do or where we go.
Identity is all about how you define yourself, and how you define yourself, is all about how you value yourself.
Life transitions can be challenging. For many, the uncertainty of what comes next, and what the outcome may be, is both scary and threatening, causing a mix of doubt, anxiety, fatigue, and worry. If unrecognized, this self-doubt can become paralyzing; changing our mood and behavior, and draining our confidence and positive energy. That’s why we must recognize these transition points, and dive into them carefully and intentionally.
It’s okay to be afraid, and doubtful in times of transition, but only if you recognize the root of such feelings: transition. It’s not a reflection of who you are, or what you are capable of, but rather a reflection of a turning point, a time in which you decide your direction.
You are the driver. Take the wheel.
Here's three tips on navigating transition:
Expect to feel depressed and anxious.
When we move forward, we ultimately leave something behind. Something changes, that threatens our routine and stirs up our comfort. Change inevitably causes anxiety, and even grief for some. It’s hard to start new. Transitions remove us from our comfort zone, letting our imaginations run wild; we worry about an unknown future. Be okay with being not okay. Let discomfort fuel you in seeking a new path; a new refuge.
In times of transition, when everything appears in flux, you may feel unsteady, but you actually are most malleable to change, and most ready for greatness. Transition is a time to explore, switch up routine, and challenge yourself—before life begins to again solidify your daily path and commit you to certain routines. It is an opportunity to start new and fresh, and allows one to be bold, take risks, and worry less about where you are.
Transitions bring new momentum so don’t miss the wave! Dive in and dive deep; don’t hold your breath and wait for an invitation. In times of transition, the best thing you can do is start. Hit the ground running and don’t look back.
Let transition empower you to greater understanding and intentionality, not paralyze you with the fear of unknowns.
You can be anything you choose to be. Transitions are a time to figure out who that is…
When the stress of a big life change, or a new role at work starts getting to you, instead of doing more, take a step back an evaluate what the goal is. Sometimes, doing less and learning more is the actual goal.
Don’t expect to be perfect at something new. It’s called ‘new’ for a reason.
Think of ways to calm yourself in transition moments. Maybe its writing a list of why this transition is happening, or maybe a list of your past accomplishments to provide perspective and comfort going forward.
Reach out to someone who knows you well (i.e. family member, former colleague, friend). Share your situation, and how you feel, and let them help you regain perspective on the situation.