Transitions are an opportunity to allow a new identity to emerge
July has been a month of milestones in our household and these transitions are an opportunity to reflect and reset. As a coach, a large number of my clients are people going through some changes/transition in their life and they are looking for coping mechanisms or ideas on how to navigate the period of uncertainty.
Turning 50 at the beginning of July always manages to get the conversation going. So many comments from clients, friends and colleagues about how bad they felt reaching this milestone age. I was not feeling the same feeling of dread and this in itself made me reflect and consider why this transition was not feeling challenging for me. It was a simple answer, I am not focusing on my age, I am focusing on the wisdom you have as a 50 year old versus the unaware person I was at 30. There is a sense of freedom that comes with wisdom – knowing that being your authentic self is “okay” and feeling comfortable in your own skin. I choose to work for a sense of fulfilment, rather than always looking for recognition and it has changed my perspective completely. This is a new identity, one which focuses on the other rather than myself.
Another transition at home is that my husband is leaving his employer after more than 28 years of service. This is not a decision he has taken lightly, its something he has been considering for the last couple of years and we have discussed numerous times. For most of my clients this can equate to a “loss of identity” as there is a lot of energy put into one’s career and especially when you have been with one company for so long. I do expect that he will have days during this transition where he will feel like he is no longer important or valued as he decides what to do next and I will be there to remind him that transitions are a gift. In order for a ‘new’ identity to emerge, you must let the ‘old’ identity go.
When I asked him how he feels – he said “I feel a sense of freedom”. He had a wonderful 28+ year career with this company, but that sense of freedom provides so much opportunity and optimism for the future. My husband is not retiring, he is just taking advantage of a transition opportunity to allow a new identity to emerge.
So next time you have a milestone coming up that you are not looking forward to, or a period of uncertainty – embrace it, a transition is an opportunity for positive change and a brand new identity.