Don’t get caught “in” the struggle through transition. Illness, divorce, disruption at work casts a destructive shadow over your life. These things hit like a storm. They hit hard, sometimes out of nowhere, and can destroy the life you knew.
Whatever your storm is, when it hits you, it can move through, throwing around everything in it’s path…your health, relationships and career. It can be tempting to find somewhere safe to wait it out, but this is rarely possible.
Transitioning your way through it is a challenge in itself though. No doubt, just like you, the transitions I’ve faced can feel like a laundry list of destruction. Being aware of the challenges can allow you to focus on resolving the struggle, before it takes control of your life and you feel lost in the struggle.
The question that generally starts the process is “What do I do now?”. At this point, we can look to others that have weathered storms and have rebuilt. Here is some wisdom I can share that I have gleaned from them.
What I’ve found is that there are three common challenges that you face in transition. You need to resolve all three to boost your self-esteem, find peace of mind and freedom from fear.
The Emotional Struggle – Your Confidence Takes a Beating
Loss of confidence brings with it fear of what the immediate future will hold, and how you cope with daily fear triggers, which invade unexpectedly. It’s often followed by uncertainty, stress and anxiety as you consider your longer term prospects.
Indecision can become almost paralysing as you start to make decisions for an uncertain future. The trying thing is that it’s generally the small, simple decisions that can cause high levels of anxiety.
Appointments or returning to “the scene of the crime”, can open the floodgates of fear and uncertainty. It can feel like a season of unpleasant memories, which takes all your energy to manage through.
One in five people in this community struggle with loss of confidence right now.
The remedy to loss of confidence is Courage. Courage to start and move forward.
The Social Struggle – Isolation Leads To Disconnection
Your confidence has taken a beating and you need to create a safe space to heal, so you isolate for a little while, you tell yourself. Then, you’re not sure how to articulate the “problem” and find it challenging to ask for help.
The energy for endless conversations drains you and finds you reaching for the tissue box in those moments still. Your supporters have been so valiant, but now it’s “over” in their eyes. They’re well meaning and just want you to put it behind you and move on, but it’s not quite over for you—there is still a bit to resolve yet.
One in two people in this community are experiencing this struggle right now.
The remedy to isolation is connection. Connection is why we exist.
The Identity Struggle – You Question Who You Are Now
The roles and goals you identified with have been shaken to the core. You have difficulty identifying with being healthy when you’re ill, or as a husband when you’re getting divorced or as a value employee when you feel like you’re hanging by a thread at work.
You hang on tight to those “old” identities, because at the moment, there’s nothing to replace it with. Your supporters urge you to go back to who you were, but that doesn’t quite fit as comfortably now because so much has changed for you.
You feel stuck between who you were, who you are now, and who you want to be. There’s a gaping void, which sits in between them, leaving you stuck in the middle somewhere.
One in three people in this community are experiencing this struggle right now.
The remedy to loss of identity is curiosity. Be curious about who you could and want to be now.
Bringing It All Together
Storms often hit without warning, and while it can be tempting to find somewhere safe to wait and come out when the cleanup is finished, it’s rarely a choice.
Navigating your way through it alone can feel like an endless struggle to clear the barriers. Your supporters don’t have the answers you need now.
With the right support, skills and tools though, thousands of people not only clear the barriers they become confident, connected and securely able to weather any storm.
It all starts with the courage to grow your confidence.
Which of these struggles have you experienced and are you experiencing now? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as learning is a two-way street.
PS – The E.S.I. Dimensions of Transition – Emotional Transition, Social Transition and Identity Transition is the path through the destruction, and I’m looking forward to telling you more about it shortly.