See the Opportunity in Transitions: My Lifequake Moment
I remember that day well. It was a Sunday in the spring. My husband and I left church and headed to the grocery store before heading home. In the parking lot, I got the call from my boss.
As his business partner, I had been working with him over the past month to reorganize the department, which I was a part of. In the reorganization, I initiated a change that eliminated my position. I knew I wanted something different. It was time to leave the organization I had been a part of for 21 years.
His question: “Are you 100 percent sure this is what you want? Once we announce this tomorrow, there is no turning back.” But it was right. Right for me, right for the department, and really, really terrifying. I looked at my husband (who had the same terrified look), took a breath and said, “Yes, let’s do it!” I still remember the unfamiliar barrage of emotions as we went into the grocery store. Part terror, part excitement, and deep questions about how this would all unfold.
That was five years ago. It was my lifequake moment as described by Bruce Feiler in his book Life Is in the Transitions. He describes a lifequake as a massive change that leads to a life transition. Now, as a coach, I help people through transitions—some planned, some unplanned. Every transition holds opportunities to define who we are and who we want to be.
Here is what I know about my lifequake moment and how my transition has unfolded (and continues to unfold).
Live in the uncomfortable. Even though I had a vision and a plan, it has never worked out exactly as I anticipated. Five years in, I am still figuring it out, and I think I always will be. This has required me to get very comfortable with being uncomfortable. There is growth here, and I have learned to lean into that. I have a resolve and a confidence to believe that things always work out.
Pay attention to energy. As a coach, my training has been in energy leadership. I believe we have a conscious choice about how we show up, energetically, in every situation. During transitions, it is easy to let worry, doubt, and anxiety drive our emotions (energy). I have to be deliberate in choosing the energy that will help me. Good energy comes in the form of inspiration, ideas, and most of all, action. I move the ball forward daily and surround myself with good messages along with inspiring, helpful people.
Push through the hard. I have never shied away from stepping into a challenge. By nature, transitions push us to challenge ourselves. This can be hard. Battling through the hard builds character and perseverance. Whether planned or unplanned, transitions offer an opportunity to see what we are made of. I’ve learned to get my mind in the right place for the challenging times ahead and to be proud of every hard step I take!
Perspective is a gift. Unwrap daily! No matter what transition you are going through, when you are in it, it is easy to lose perspective and let fear be the driver. We want to know a destination, but in transitions straight lines do not exist. Pulling up and seeing more clearly takes intention. Living in the moment, being grateful, and finding joy in the journey are not just concepts to me. They require daily focus and action.
Pick up great passengers. The amazing people I have met are one of the greatest blessings of my transition. They inspire me. They humble me. They push me. I have hired great coaches, engaged in inspiring networks, and met new friends. My mindset has been open and nonjudgmental. My mission is to reciprocate love to humanity. I would not have had the same opportunities to embrace new people had I not taken the risk to step into the unknown.
Hold your head high in your unique space. Comparison is a normal part of our human nature. We look at others navigating similar transitions, and we compare ourselves. Realizing that everyone has a unique path is important. No matter what the transition, make it your own and hold your head high.
I am a better person because I embraced my transition. My stress is lower, my joy is multiplied, and my energy to give the world is greater. It has not been all rainbows and unicorns. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy path. Still, I understand that what I do is not who I am. I am grateful my lifequake changed both.