From Panic to Possibilities

When you’re in the midst of adjusting to a new chapter, it’s easy to feel untethered or stuck. It can feel a bit like culture shock — the familiar markers are gone or aren’t serving you well anymore, but you aren’t yet sure how best to interpret the new signals you’re getting. Very disorienting.

So I’ve been thinking about the scaffolding that helps an organization or an individual move from panic to possibilities when navigating a transition.

Here are the elements I think help the most:

  1. Purpose – This is an overused word and a big category, but I’m convinced that having a sense of meaning and/or what a ‘win’ would look like will help you find your bearings. Without that, you won’t know if you’re heading in a good direction when the fog clears.
  2. Process – We need a path to follow. These might be steps in a process, or milestones, or key events on a calendar. They can be imposed from outside or self-generated, but either way, they’ll help us put one foot in front of the other.
  3. People – Transitions happen best in community. Whether it comes in the form of trusted friends, a coach, co-participants in an experience — we need some company along the way.
  4. Progress – Take action on something, because momentum is motivating.

Each of us will be stronger in some of these categories than others. Which one feels a bit wobbly for you right now?

I found Grace Hawthorne’s Make Possibilities Happen to be an accessible, practical nudge in this direction.

I was reading it in preparation for Wiser by Choice next week. It’s the no-reading-required book club that I’m running for free right now. We have snippets of seven titles to discuss this week in one value-packed hour, so I’d love for you to join us.

I’m also getting excited about co-hosting Four Seasons of Transformation — it ticks all of the above boxes and is going to be terrific. We almost have our minimum number of participants confirmed to make sure that it runs, so I’d love to add your name to that list.

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