Have you ever gone through a life transition and asked yourself the question, who am I now?
Consider for a moment, that major life transitions are accompanied by a change in how we describe ourselves. A change in who we are, our sense of self.
- You become an empty nester when your children leave home
- If you lose a job, you join the ranks of the unemployed
- Your marital status changes – from married to divorced or widowed or single
- When you stop working, you become retired
And the list goes on.
While some people easily shift from one phase of life to another, others find it more challenging. In some cases, the ease of making a shift is connected to whether the transition was planned or not. At the same time, it may be a matter of how tightly you hold that identity.
How easy do you think these transitions might be?
- Planning to retire at 55 versus planning to work until 70 and laid off at 56
- Fully focused on your children and not planning for after they go to college
- Love what you do and never wanting to retire but needing to slow down
As you work through these shifts, you might feel in conflict with yourself. Almost like your “inner team members” are at odds with each other. Here are some ways that conflict may show up:
- The part of you who loves the freedom of being in-between jobs versus the part who wants a paycheck
- Unwrapping yourself from your identity as a full-time parent, and creating a new one focused more fully on yourself and who you are.
- Adjusting to being self-employed and acting as a “team of one”, while a part of you holds onto the days when you were part of a corporate team.
There may also be a need to embrace new parts of yourself you never thought you had such as:
- Learning how to take care of your home when previously your spouse did
- Letting the part of you who ate whatever it wanted to learn about disciplined eating
- Growing the financially savvy part of you in managing your business
Whether it is recognizing new skills, addressing inner conflict, or adjusting to a new sense of who you are, all of these elements connect to how you belong to yourself. If you find yourself having difficulty in making a life transition, ask yourself:
- Commitment – What I am truly committed to during this shift?
- Belief System – Do I believe that what I am working towards is attainable?
- Alignment – Do I feel like I am working with or against myself?
- Systemic – Has anyone in my family struggled with a similar transition?
If you are finding yourself out of alignment with your sense of self during a life transition or as you are working towards an important goal, please contact me for a complimentary consultation.
© 2020 Systems of Change, LLC