Transitions are a fact of life. Your business, your marriage, your house, your kids…your stage of life is almost always in a state of flux – whether good or bad. So our need to deal with transitions is not within our control; but how we deal with them is.
Sometimes transitions are so significant that we lose our sense of self. It is like being caught in a tornado, and trying to determine which way is up. Your internal compass is tossed and mangled, and you are left incapable of making an accurate reading. I remember as a bride everything in my life changed – my home, my family, my dependencies…even my name. Though most certainly the best day of my life, the happiness of the occasion did not erase the overwhelm of the transition.
The problem with overwhelming transitions is that we: 1) lose sight of who we are independent of the transition period; and as a result 2) perform at uncharacteristically low levels, despite the amount of time and energy we put in. The fact that we try so hard to apply ourselves during these transition periods, but cannot seem to identify what method is best, also breeds a deep sense of frustration and confusion. We tend to try several or all different methods, in an attempt to rediscover who we are and where our talents lie. Thus, to the outside world, a person in transition appears sporadic and contradictory.
The good news is that there is a way to minimize the negative effect of overwhelming transitions: identify and foster your unchanging talents in a period of stability. The Biblical story of the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27) teaches that a steady foundation firmly holds the house during a storm. Knowing your talents in the calm allows you to remain strong and be less shaken by the transition.
If you are already in the “storm” of transition, then look back. Think about a time in the past when you were on your “A” game, when you were satisfied and successful in your work. What was different then? What made that time so positive? For you, the best means of moving forward is to momentarily look behind. Also, do not be afraid to seek help. Oftentimes the overwhelm of transition is too great to handle on your own. Find a professional to coach you through the change, so you can quickly return to a place of satisfaction and success.