Life and career transitions carry some of the biggest heartaches of our lives – relocation, divorce, job loss, aging parents, relationship changes, health challenges, death of a loved one, friends who move way. We feel lost, rejected, angry, afraid, abandoned, alone. Often the biggest influencer in these situations is not the transition itself but, the story we attach to it. When the story generates from a place of fear we get stuck.
Define your perception of the situation – the version that you relive over and over in your head. It might be fear of what will happen in the future. It might be about health, relationships, career, financial security. It might be guilt about the past. You may feel like a victim or alone and that things will never change. What is your stuck story? Who is in it? Who do you blame for where you are? What is the worst possible outcome that could happen? We can dispel what we own. If we can’t face and own the thoughts that chase us down, we just keep running away from them. And then not only are we unhappy but also exhausted.
Be realistic. Skip the pat scenarios such as – ‘My family is around me and we are all healthy.’ We all want that. Give specifics of what the day looks like. What is the environment? What is going on in the morning, afternoon, evening? Who is there?
What is the main assumption that halts your progress. That your health will fail? That you’ll never have another job you like? That you aren’t capable? That you aren’t smart, educated, cute, or good enough? That others are better? That you’ll be alone?
Be precise. Have you wasted time and precious relationships perseverating on assumptions? Has it cost you applying for stretch jobs outside your area of comfort or meeting the right people? Has it cost you sleep? Friends? Relationships? Money? Freedom?
Clearly your stuck story and your ideal day are not in alignment. Something has to come to an end for you to move on. What are you willing to let go of? Are you ready to stop blaming? Can you admit how your situation makes you feel so that you can move on instead of armoring up against a feeling that makes you uncomfortable and then feeling frustrated and alone? Can you accept less than ideal as long as it does not compromise your values? What are you willing to give up?
If you want to move on it is time to retire your stuck story and more importantly any blame, shame, anger, or fear associated with it. It is up to you to write a new ending to an old tale. This is where power is. Don’t expect life to be fair. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him. Let go of expectations. They kill happiness and progress.
Develop mindful daily practices that build resilience and grow confidence – meditation, physical activity, crafts, reading, prayer, walks. Build your awareness such that when you notice you are doubting yourself, take a deep breath and say, “May I be gentle with myself in this moment.” Self-care helps you get over the fear of rejection. It helps you treat yourself the way you would treat a friend. When someone says “No” to you they don’t give it another thought. Why should you? Self-compassion helps you detach from internalizing rejection.
If you are ready to get off the treadmill to nowhere and have peace, confidence, executive presence, career advancement and high performance in the face of challenges, personal agendas, cynicism and bureaucracy request a free consultation call to see if coaching is a good fit to help you get calm, promoted, hired, happy, connected and effective before it’s too late.
Watch my new FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.
P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call now.
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