Cooler September breezes are upon us, reminding us we are heading toward a transition. The close of summer and the beginning of fall is just one of a myriad of transitions we experience in a lifetime. Transitions are a common theme in my life coaching practice, as many clients seek support when faced with a transition point in their life. There are multiple reasons why a person might seek help when transitioning from one aspect or area of their life to another, but I believe it is the experience of uncertainty that these times call forth, that especially drives clients my way.
What is it about the feeling of uncertainty that haunts us and can feel so daunting? One element is that we, as human beings, love familiarity. Being familiar with something is comforting, cozy, and confidence affirming. We know what’s what and that is so satisfying! We love and seek certainty for just this reason.
To step from the familiar into a new landscape can be terrifying! Life transitions force us to sit with uncertainty, and all the feelings of insecurity or anxiety such can bring. One can’t know ahead of time, or exactly predict, how a change will pan out. Whether you are moving from one job to another, or ending a relationship or navigating a new degree-to-career path, you won’t (at least at first) know exactly how the new opportunity will feel or how it will unfold. The question you will be faced with is whether the effects of the change are desirable or not.
And something funny, but common, often happens next. When you can’t predict an outcome, or have limited knowledge as to the way a situation will go, you begin to doubt yourself. Uncertainty fuels self-doubt. So true, yes? Clients come to me for support during life transitions because as they sit with uncertainty, they doubt themselves and their ability to create the transformation they want. Things feel very much out of their control.
So, here is where I introduce a magic bullet: I remind my coaching clients that they still have all their strengths, inner resources, skills and abilities under their control at a time of change. They can easily bring these to the table to help them successfully navigate whatever uncertainties come with the life transition they are in the midst of. What a gift it is to know that you can face uncertainty not by going deeper down the doubt path, but rather by harnessing your strengths, emotional savvy and inner resources. So banish all doubts! Try instead to embrace the idea of what you do have control over, namely your deep inner wisdom, the next time you head into a life transition. Watch your anxiety go down, and your excitement increase, for whatever is to come!
This article was also published in www.TheBrickMagazine.com