Learning to Embrace the New Seasons of Life

The events of the past few years have been a period of incredible change for many of us. These shifts and changes have come from every direction, including domestic and geopolitical, social, economic, and environmental factors. They have presented incredible opportunities to learn more about ourselves.

For me personally, the last few years have provided incredible learning and growth opportunities. It was a season of major life transitions and career pivots, as well as stepping into new spaces — some by choice, others by force.

I’ve worked in several different industries, in different roles. I’ve launched business ventures and projects, some winners and some losers. Some relationships have evolved for the better, while others reached their expiration date.

Looking back, it was a season of change. But sometimes it’s tough to reflect when you’re in the moment. Sometimes you find yourself trying to survive and at other times you’re thriving and enjoying the moments. And there’s an entire spectrum in between.

When you’re in a state of transition or change it’s tough to zoom out and see the big picture. Your main priority becomes getting acclimated to the new state efficiently and effectively. You’re likely in this new position for one of two reasons — an opportunity to advance, or trying to re-establish your footing after a setback. And no matter how each feels on the surface, each one requires a new investment of energy to get started and build momentum.

When focusing your efforts on entering a new state, it’s easy to overlook loose ends and connections tied to the state you’re leaving, especially those that are beneath the surface. While changes in relationships, business partnerships, roles, and responsibilities are easy to see, they may not be the only things that require attention.

Each transition carries a little residue with it, and it can affect a number of areas in your life. Your relationship with yourself changes, as does your position in the context of your vision. Your perception of your own value add changes. The time and energy you have available to devote to relationships is also impacted.

If you don’t reconcile conflicting aspects of your life, they can become hidden weights that you carry with you. Over time, these weights become normalized as part of your daily burden. The time and energy you invest in these hidden burdens function like direct deposits. They are no longer conscious investments, but the energy and effort are still drawn.

But, what would it look like for you to shed the extra burden and enter a new season with a clean slate? No hidden burdens. No auto-debits of your energy. No emotional and relational loose ends. What if your effort and energy can be fully invested in your future vs. splitting the investment with the old burdens?

That is a journey I’ve been traveling for the past 6 months. It’s been cathartic, and a process that was long overdue. Here are three insights I learned along the way:

Some relationships come with an expiration date

Sometimes relationships that you thought were lifelong change. Realize that some relationships are just for a season, no matter what you intended them to be. You can’t burden yourself by hanging on to relationships that no longer serve you in some way (not only financially).

As you embrace the new season of change and growth, some people might not choose to elevate with you. In other cases, some refuse to see your growth and want to hold you in a place they feel comfortable. There is a cost associated with investing in these relationships — and it compounds over time.

Every time you say yes to investing effort, mindshare, and time into relationships that don’t serve you, you’re leaving less for something else that does. You owe it to yourself to invest in yourself and your vision.

Your vision is the north star

Only you know the coordinates of your vision. Don’t allow a setback change the position of your north star. Remember that setbacks are just temporary situations.

Your vision is the legacy you want to leave. Stay true to it and continue to push forward. The path there will be dynamic. Embrace the idea that it might take a mindset shift or a new perspective to get there.

There will be some detours. Sometimes you’ll have to take the local route and deal with stop lights. Other times you’ll be cruising on the freeway.

No matter what the path looks like and how many times the route changes, figure out how to regroup and re-calibrate so that you can re-draw a new path there. With perseverance and determination, success is within reach and your path will become your testimony.

There’s a difference between change and transformation

Effective transition requires more than a location change. Yes, a change of scenery can be refreshing. But if you bring the same lifestyle, habits, and beliefs to a new location, the novelty will eventually wear off. You’ll be the same person, just in a new place, and sooner or later the new location starts to look and feel like the one you just left.

In order to transform your situation, you have to change your ecosystem from the inside. It’s the only way to support and sustain the new version of yourself that you must become to thrive in your new environment.

Look at your ecosystem through these 5 lenses — spiritual, personal, professional, social, and financial. This is the ecosystem that will allow you to achieve and sustain success in your new state.

New seasons of life will come and go. Sometimes you will choose your next season. Other times your new situation will choose you. No matter how the season arrives at your door, you owe it to yourself to make the most of it.

Start by shedding the old burdens you’re carrying from last season, and start with a clean slate.

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