Every New Beginning Comes from Some Other Beginning’s End
~ Seneca ~
Endings are Challenging
- Even when you believe endings are signals from the Universe that it’s time for you to stretch and grow.
- Even when you believe it’s time for you to enter a new life stage.
- Especially when they are instigated by something or someone beyond your control.
They Stop You in Your Tracks
A few years ago, I experienced several unanticipated endings, including a business partnership, a dear-to-my-heart project, a working relationship, and the disbanding of a mastermind group that I enjoyed very much. So many significant endings within a short timeframe stopped me in my tracks. I felt as empty as a balloon that’s had the air let out of it.
Mind Hell Took Over
For a while, I tried to carry on, fluttering around, pretending there was no impact, and not enjoying much of anything that had to do with my coaching practice. Inside my head, the conversation went something like this:
- Why bother?
- Nobody cares
- Nothing I do ever works out
- None of this is worth the effort
- Maybe it’s time to quit
I fell into the Mind Hell trap of negative thinking, questioning everything I had been doing. And especially because I’m a coach, I felt like I “should” know better, which just took me deeper into the downward spiral.
I made myself wrong for my negative thoughts. Like I’m not human or something.
The downward spiral of Mind Hell wipes out “sexy” in a heartbeat. I robbed myself of the passion and joy of doing what I love.
Climbing Out of Mind Hell Takes Grit
I repeatedly asked myself how long I was going to wallow in Mind Hell. Hanging out there didn’t feel like I was honoring my life purpose to “Playfully and Passionately Celebrate Life.”
Eventually I remembered exactly what I teach. I acknowledged that I was going through a transition. I was experiencing grief, anger, fear, and self-doubt that signals the ending stage when you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. It feels like you are standing on shaky ground with nothing solid to hang onto.
Realizing that I was experiencing a normal reaction to a transition was a relief, but I’m not going to lie. Climbing out of a career or life transition takes grit. It’s tough to keep going when it feels like there’s no solid ground to stand on.
The good news is that once you realize you are in a transition, you can let go of trying to turn back time. You can stop wishing for life to be some other way than how it is. That frees you up to be curious and creative about what you would like your new future to look like.
In her book “Grit,” Angela Duckworth states that grit requires two components, passion and perseverance. Of the two, passion often comes easier.
While there is no set time limit for going through a transition, the timespan will likely be shorter if you practice perseverance. It’s okay to take baby steps as long as you keep moving forward.
I believe that I am still climbing out of my latest transition. But these days, I’m feeling energized again. I’m happy about how I see my life and coaching practice going from here. I feel my “sexy” coming back!
New Beginnings Bring New Joy
The last few years have brought challenging endings to all if us. In one way or another, I believe we are all in transition. The world we once knew is gone forever. But many of us are trying to go back to a “normal” that no longer exists.
I get it if you feel like you’ve lost your “sexy” along the way. You may find yourself in the downward spiral of Mind Hell.
Climbing out takes grit, but it can be done. Here are a few actions you can take:
- Don’t pretend there’s no impact to your life. Don’t make yourself wrong if you have stopped in your tracks. Forcing yourself to carry on will take you deeper into mind hell.
- Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel confused, unbalanced, or like you are on shaky ground. Journal your feelings, share them with a trusted friend or advisor, or create a visual of your feelings. Getting them out of your head and putting them where you can see them objectively will help you gain perspective.
- Change your focus. Put your attention on exploring something new, fun, and interesting to revitalize your energy. Learn a new skill, do something fun with friends, or take a course where you can meet people who share a common interest.
- Listen to your intuition. Trust it to guide you forward, even if what you hear it say doesn’t immediately make sense. Clarity will come with patience and persistence.
- Celebrate along the way. Celebrate insights. Celebrate milestones. Celebrate your perseverance. Celebrate that a new beginning is on the way, even if you can’t quite envision the shape of it yet.
Endings aren’t for the faint of heart. But they happen. You can choose to fight against them, or you can choose to work with them to discover a way to begin again. You can design and build a Sexy Second Act that’s fun, exciting, and worthy of your time and energy. There is great joy to be found in creating something that matters to you.