“You’re too hard on yourself.”
Those are words spoken to me often, yet I still resist them. How am I being too hard on myself? Especially since many summer weeks have passed by and I see unchecked items on my project list. I’ve allowed too much downtime, in my opinion.
“You’re rushing things,” my friend says.
I begin to understand. That anxiety that made me leave the list to take an off-schedule walk in grasslands is stemmed from panic. Panic that I should be in a different place, on a different road paved by, if I am honest, comparison.
Comparison of career choices to financial retirement plans. Comparison of living dwellings to time management. Even comparison of introvert (me) to extrovert.
When in transition, our travels can feel unsteady as we navigate paths unknown. In this transition, after leaving a job of 17 years, I’m navigating days without a steady schedule. My plan of breathing space to reveal and build on what is next began to dissolve into panic grasping.
Like a divorcee who may fall too soon into another relationship just to feel wanted, I started seek out opportunities that would lead to time-fillers rather than purpose. I began to compare myself, judging another way as better, revealing my self-doubt about my own abilities, strengths, and gifts.
Transition coach Willam Bridges writes;
“Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work.”
Help for Life Transitions
Transitions are transformational. So, what can help our inner reorientation to incorporate change during our transitions?
1. Keep your mind-centred on God.
Isaiah 26:3 says:
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (NIV)
My self-doubt is replaced with peace I take in His promises that I can trust in His unchanging love and power.
2. Know our path may not be easy when following God’s will, but we are never alone.
Isaiah 26:8 says:
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
In all our tough situations, God provides us all we need through His wisdom, our faith to trust Him, and through others (mentors) who speak His truth into our lives.
3. Seek how to make wise decisions for you life.
Proverbs 18:15 teaches:
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.
Wise decision making during change includes being open to new ideas and getting the facts.
Questions to help us during changes and transitions
So today I am learning to not rush the process into what God has next for me. Learning to peacefully navigate this time, I seek out His wisdom as I do life my creative best.
Are you in a transition? Some questions that may help you:
1. What do you believe about this situation? About yourself in it?
2. How does this challenge your character and core beliefs?
3. How does God want to reshape your identity in this?
4. How can this situation prepare you for the future God is calling you to?
What helps you during changes and transitions?