paNASH blog


How to Handle Life Transitions Gracefully

“If you let it, life will take you on a grand journey beyond anything you could ever plan for. If you are receptive and open, you will be and do things far outside your current view of yourself.” Benjamin Hardy

In Benjamin Hardy’s recent article entitled How to Reach the Next Stage of Your Personal Evolution, he describes much of what my clients are currently experiencing in their lives and careers (and what I too have experienced in my own life and career). Here’s an excerpt:

How to Reach the Next Stage of Your Personal Evolution

“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” — Leonardo DiCaprio

Life is a multiple act play. In each succeeding scene in the play of your life, you will act in different roles, have different supporting cast members, and take on new challenges.

Going from one scene to the next is a transition, involving loss and newness. Without question, change and transition are always difficult, if that change is real. It’s easy to become over-attached to a certain role you’ve played, perceiving that role as your identity. It’s painful realizing that various characters from previous scenes don’t make sense in the next scene, yet still you awkwardly try to fit them in.

If you let it, life will take you on a grand journey beyond anything you could ever plan for. If you are receptive and open, you will be and do things far outside your current view of yourself. To quote Biblo Baggins, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The roles you will play

Lobsters are soft squishy creates that house themselves within hard shells with rigid and spiky insides. As a lobster grows, its shell becomes constraining, even suffocating and painful.

Once the lobster becomes too uncomfortable: it hides from predators under a rock, jettisons its old shell, and fashions a new one. This process repeats throughout the lobster’s life.

Each of the lobster’s shells may look drastically different from the previous one. Indeed, in its new shell, the lobster may be unrecognizable to its closest friends and even to itself.

Likewise, the various scenes in your life may demand you to be someone you never intended to be. Although you may have been timid and quiet in the previous scenes, your new situation may require you to lead and speak boldly.

Each situation is different.

In our individualized culture, we like to see ourselves devoid of a context, as though we are a self-contained entity. However, identity and meanings are housed within contexts. Take for instance the shirt you’re wearing. To you, it may be a shirt, to a baby it may be a blanket, and to a moth it may be lunch.

The relationship between things (the context) is the reality, not the things themselves.

In-between scenes (and shells)

Between each stage in your journey, you’ll go through minor — and sometimes major — identity crises. Although this isn’t necessarily enjoyable, it’s necessary and natural.

According to Identity Status Theory, before you commit to and achieve a particular identity, you’ll experience identity crisis. While experiencing identity crisis, you’re as the lobster whose outgrown its shell. You don’t quite know who you are, or what’s next.

Jeff Goins calls this phase “The In-Between,” — the tension between now and the next big thing. This in-between time is confusing and vexing. Like the naked lobster, you’ve outgrown and cast away your old shell, but haven’t found your new one yet. You feel exposed and vulnerable.

In each scene, you will feel like a child

At each new stage (or shell) in your journey, you will feel like a child. You’ll be required to learn and do new things. You’ll relearn past lessons but from new angles and with new meanings.

Continual growth demands you continuously become a child again. As a child, you will crave and seek understanding. Once you learn and adapt, you’ll likely become complacent. Thus, you’ll need to become a child again so your thirst to grow returns. In this way, you’ll never get stuck or stagnate. (Click here to read more.)

Learn to Relish Change in Life Transitions

In my work with my clients, I see these identity crises in clients of all ages. There’s no such thing as only one crisis that occurs only at mid-life. It occurs in my clients who are turning 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and so on.

One of the things I have to help them understand, as Hardy also explains, is to not only be patient in these times of uncertainty, but also to learn how to relish this time. These periods of life transitions can sometimes be the most exciting and exhilarating times of life because it’s when we finally open ourselves up to learning and trying new things. It’s when we feel most alive. Yes it can be uncomfortable, but it can also be fun if we allow it to.

If you’re currently going through a life or career transition, embrace it and let paNASH help you see the potential opportunities it can lead to. Click here to enjoy the rest of Hardy’s article.

Sunday Inspiration: Test The Waters (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given.” Gal 6:4 TM

One pastor writes: “I could have taken a hundred gifts and ability tests as a young man and never discovered that I was gifted at teaching, because I’d never done it. It was only after I began accepting opportunities to speak that I saw the results, received confirmation from others, and realized God had gifted me to do this.”

Unless you’re willing to risk getting involved, you’ll never know what you’re good at. Sure you’ll make mistakes—and some of them may be so discouraging you’ll want to give up and not try again. But if you turn your mistakes into learning experiences you’ll not only discover what God has called you to do, you’ll grow and become proficient at it.

Paul writes: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (vv. 4-5 TM).

Then he adds: “Let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit…therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all” (vv. 9-10 TM).

Today take a serious look at what’s left of your life and decide to make it count. Some of the saddest words in life are on a tombstone that reads: “When I came to die, I discovered I had not yet lived.” Don’t let that be said of you!

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/test-the-waters-2

How to Develop a Mindset for a Successful Career Transition

Thank you to Tom Kuegler, Huffington Post writer and editor of The Post-Grad Survival Guide, for recently featuring his interview with me on making a successful career transition, originally published on The Mission

4 Important Thoughts for a Successful Career Transition

Career Coach Lori Bumgarner, M.Ed. loves helping people with transitions, which is tough because most people hate them.

My father doesn’t want to move to Florida because that’s quite a big change from Baltimore, Maryland.

My friend doesn’t want to become a freelancer because she’s afraid of how she’s going to pay her bills.

I’m afraid of working at the library down the street because I love working from the comfort of my own home (seriously).

The point is we can all be afraid of transitions, especially regarding our career, because there’s so much riding on what we DO for a living.

As I spoke with Lori Bumgarner, she offered up a couple things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of a transition of your own.

Here are all four:


1. Give Yourself Permission

What are you “supposed” to be doing? My brilliant friend who’s considering quitting her job seems to be weighed down by the demands of student loan payments. She’s “supposed” to be responsible enough to guarantee they’re paid, right? That’s what responsible recent graduates do.

The only problem is those responsibilites are holding her back from pursuing something she really wants — a chance to be her own boss as a freelancer.

She isn’t giving herself permission. I know for a fact she could make enough to pay off her student loan bills AND freelance full-time, but she wouldn’t know that without making the jump herself. Lori echoes my thoughts:

“A lot of times people feel societal pressures,” she begins.

“They think: ‘You’re supposed to have a traditional job and you’re supposed to be responsible, and work’s not supposed to be fun.’ Well that’s not always true! Sometimes people feel guilty for wanting to do those things because of who they feel responsible for.

But most times by the time they get to me they’re realizing the negative impact it’s having on their family by not allowing themselves that. They know ‘I need to set a good example for my children, I need to be a happier person so my family wants to be around me,’ so there’s a lot of me giving them permission, and there’s also me helping them overcome their fear or stepping out of their comfort zone or having to take a leap of faith.”

It’s true. My friend’s quality of life is slowly declining due to her decision to stay at her job. If she decided to try something else, she’d not only uphold her financial responsibilities, but she’d also live a much happier life.


2. There Will Never Be A Good Time

I wrote a whole article on this topic before, but Lori sums it up just perfectly in a couple paragraphs below:

“There’s never a right time. Somebody in their 20’s might have student loans and people in their 40’s have a mortgage along with kids they want to be able to put through college.

There’s always going to be those financial demands. It’s just going to be at different stages in your life. Some of my older clients will say ‘I wish I wouldn’t have waited this long, I wish I wouldn’t have wasted my time.’ If you’re feeling that calling and it feels like a nagging thing, see why that is. Explore it and see why the reason you’re being called to it.

 
successful career transition
Lori Bumgarner

As long as you can be creative with the safety net. You know, safety nets don’t always have to look alike. It’s a good idea to try to get as creative as you can. It wasn’t like I quit my job, started my own business, and then done. No, I did work on the side for months before I ever thought about it. I networked for nine months until I had the confidence to leave that full-time job and take that leap of faith. Any time you do something like this it’s going to be a leap of faith. But there are certain things you can do that can make something act like a safety net for you.”


3. It’s Not Too Late

Along the same lines as the second point, remember that it’s never too late to pursue your passions.

“I had so many people [coming to me] who hated their jobs working for the past ten years or so, and working so hard they didn’t realize they missed out on their families, haven’t seen their kids as much as they wanted to, or haven’t pursued their dreams.

So they think it’s too late, but…

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

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Be Honest: Is Your Comfort Zone Actually Comfortable?

Is Your Comfort Zone Actually Comfortable?

You’re bored with your job, relationships, or life in general. But you’ve been unwilling to make any changes for improvement, big or small.

You’re stressed because you’re drowning in debt. But you’ve been unwilling to sell some of your stuff or cut out some of your unnecessary spending.

You’re lonely because you never asked out that girl or guy you found attractive. But you’ve been unwilling to risk rejection.

You’re worried about your job because you’ve been hearing rumors of a lay-off. But you’ve been unwilling to make a career change or look for something new.

You’re afraid to try something new because you’re unwilling to risk failure.

You’re medicated to help you deal with all the above feelings.

Does that sound comfortable to you? Your comfort zone is anything but comfortable. At best, it’s misery. At worst, it’s hell.

The Line Between Your Current Situation and the Life You Desire

The antidote for all of these feelings lies just outside your comfort zone. But the area outside your comfort zone is not the opposite of comfort. It’s not a “discomfort zone.” Instead, it’s what I call the THRIVE ZONE.

The “discomfort zone” is actually the thin border between your current comfort zone and the thrive zone. This small space is very awkward and painful, but that pain is short-lived. Once you cross that border, you’ll be in the thrive zone, also known as the life you desire.

comfort zone

Are You Willing?

What does it take to cross the border?

Willingness! That’s it.

The rest you can learn and figure out.

Are you fed up enough with how uncomfortable your comfort zone is that you’re willing to experience some temporary discomfort and make some changes?

Next Steps

If you answered yes, here are some steps you can take to help you figure out what to do to create the positive change you desire.

First, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter to receive an 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan. This complimentary resource will help you:

  • Prioritize your goals.
  • Set goals you can commit to.
  • Break your goals down into manageable steps.
  • Overcome obstacles standing in the way of your goals.
  • Ultimately achieve your goals.

Along with that, you’ll want to register for the complimentary on-demand program 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work. In this program you’ll learn how to:

  • Become unstuck and get out of your rut (your not-so-comfortable comfort zone).
  • Reframe your negative beliefs.
  • Pursue your life-long passions and discover new passions.
  • And more!

The Results You Can Expect

As a result of these free resources you can expect to:

  • Have more success in your life and your career.
  • Serve as a positive example for your family members.
  • Focus more on your goals.
  • Obliterate the obstacles previously in your way of your goals.
  • Develop an action plan.
  • Have a true sense of accomplishment.
  • Gain the courage and freedom to pursue your passions.
  • Obtain guidance and direction toward work you love and enjoy.
  • Lessen your negative self-talk and develop a more positive mindset.

Does all of that sound better than boredom, stress, loneliness, worry, and fear? Yeah, I thought so. Don’t stay in misery any longer. Instead, subscribe and register for the free resources above and start thriving today!

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Sunday Inspiration: Test The Waters (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“We each have different work to do.” Ro 12:5 TLB

Bob Buford was a successful businessman who felt God calling him to some kind of ministry. He just wasn’t sure what, so he decided to test the waters.

He brought together a group of pastors of large churches to see if they could benefit from the kind of organizational expertise he had. The cost of doing this was low enough that had it been a dead end, he could easily have focused his search elsewhere. If he’d impulsively quit his job as CEO and taken a staff position in a church somewhere, he might have missed his calling and jeopardized his chance to keep searching. As a result, today he has a ministry that literally impacts the world.

Now, you can’t just walk away from your previous commitments. Amos transitioned into the prophecy business while he still had his shepherding job to fall back on. Paul kept his tent-making operation running when he went into church planting.

Discerning God’s will requires time and patience, and most of us have bills to pay and families to take care of. So what should you do? Keep your day job—but test the waters!

And remember you’re not alone. God’s more committed to your success than you are. When you feel like He’s given you the green light, gently push the accelerator and move forward.

Playwright Arthur Miller said: “It’s wrong to remain in a situation you know is a mismatch for you…God didn’t place you on this earth to waste away your years in labor that doesn’t employ His design or purpose for your life, no matter how much you may be getting paid.”

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/test-the-waters-1