Periods of transition can be very hard.
Firstly, there is the realisation or acknowledgement that you need to transition; to let go of the old and step out into the new. This can cause a considerable amount of uncertainly, frustration and anxiety.
Then comes the deliberation phase of working out what to do. Your level of self confidence and self esteem will be tested here. Do you simply go for something you believe you can do, or do you take a leap of faith and stretch yourself to doing something you’re passionate about, but don’t know if you could do?
I have been using the analogy of a train a lot lately in my work with people in transition.
We leave school after having been pressure to get the marks we need to get into university, or to pursue a trade that will give us the skills to get a ‘good’ job. So we step onto the train; a train that we often haven’t fully chosen or committed to. Then we get absorbed in life and the day to day busyness of being on the train only to find ourselves way down the line and wondering if we really should have got on this train in the first place. You may have really enjoyed your journey, but exiting the train leaves you in a very different situation than when you got on.
Now comes the decision point; one where the outcome is ruled by your level of trust in yourself and your abilities and life.
What do I do?
I know I don’t want to be where I am currently, so do I simply change seats, change carriages, or get off this train, walk across the platform and get onto another train?
Changing seats is really like changing jobs within the same organisation. While changing carriages sees you moving from that job or organisation into another within the same field. Changing trains is the biggest step, where you realize your path in life will not complete you. That if you were to continue down this path, your dying day would be filled with regret. This is by far the hardest choice.
It might be interesting to reflect on the statement, “come off the rails”.
When attempting to figure out which move is best you can ask questions like:
Is it the job or the organisation I no longer resonate with?
Do I believe in the organisation anymore?
The thing about these questions is they will only ever lead to changing seats or carriages, when what may be required for your happiness is to change trains completely. These questions will only ever allow you to see your life situation through your current paradigm, which may actually be the issue in the first place.
It’s time to extract yourself from the trees and ask questions that allow you to see the magnificence of the forest.
The one question that is most beneficial to ask, but one I suggest you’ve been trained out of asking is:
What does my True Self want?
I know it appears to be very simple. But given as a child you were told you weren’t allowed this or that, even if you wanted it badly. Or you were told to be sensible, or polite and not ask for those things. Then you enter the workforce on the lowest rung where you don’t have the credibility or again you don’t deserve to get what you want. And depending on your level of awareness, societal suggestion and parental influence have also played a huge factor. Basically what happens is you end up in a position where we don’t even understand how to ask the question, let alone answer it.
Many people fall into the trap of having the “train” decide what their passion is. So asking “what are you passionate about”, will often cause a mental collapse too.
So what can you do?
The first step is to get some space, away from your normal life to sit and ask your self these questions. Many will say “I can’t right now, I’ve too many balls in the air”. The question is, when will now ever be the right time. We’ve always got things to do, projects on the fly, commitments to the family. These are often excuses for not having the confidence and commitment to put yourself first.
For many, men in particular, there is a feeling of guilt associated with doing something for themselves outside family and work. Whilst with the family they may feel guilty about the amount of work they still have to do – therefore not being fully present with the family. And whilst working hard, feel guilty about another late night away from the family – therefore not being fully present at work.
The only consistent thing is not being present.
Until you take time out to focus on yourself, your family, your work, your friends, will always only get a part of you, not the whole. But your family and friends want you in their life, the whole you, not half.
The second step is to allow yourself to let go of life for a moment. Let go of all your conditioning, experiences, expectations and ask the big question: what do I want? Allow yourself to feel a freedom in answering it, with no judgement thrown towards the answers. Get out a piece of paper and just write. Don’t worry about want comes out, just write. If nothing is coming, then just start to write anything, and in the process let yourself go. Often what happens when people go to do this exercise for the first time, is they judge and then dismiss everything before it can be written, therefore get nowhere. Frustration builds, but this is simply frustration at your self. So let it go as well and just start to write.
Then review what you’ve written. Look for things that have an emotional response for you and for common themes that creep through. Once done, ask what insights did this exercise provide?
Now it’s time to ask, what can be an even scarier question, “If this is what I want, what do I need to do to make it a reality?”
Then start doing what you need to do.
We often have people come to us and say, “please fix me, but don’t change me”. The point is you believe you need fixing because of the way you’ve been living, so you’ve already identified a need to change. For us to get what we truly want, we often have to take a leap of faith. One where we don’t know the answers, but feel deep inside ourselves that this is what we need to do.
If you are faced with two options, one you know you can do easily, the other your not sure about, pick the latter as it will provide the biggest opportunity for growth.
Time of transition or change can be hard. But if you enter it with the mindset that there is an opportunity for growth, then you’ll work through it in far more resilient fashion.
Men: If you’re in a time of transition, or you believe it’s time to have a look at where you’re going in life, what your doing. Then Awakening The Warrior Within may be just the thing you need.
It’s a four day bush experience where we take you through a process to allow you to get your own answers to the big questions, like what do I really want.