It’s the new year, and to some that means a new you.
Social media posts and ads offer advice on how to plan for the new year. Start with reflecting on last year. Yep. I agree with that.
Select a word for the new year based on who (or what) you want to be. Set goals for weight loss, better health, improved relationships, or learning new skills. Or, just become a totally new you.
Um. Not so much.
It seemed straight-forward until I retired from my career that had spanned 3 decades a few years ago. I couldn’t come up with a word for the new year or goals for that matter because I didn’t have a clue who or what I wanted to be in my next chapter. I was still wondering, “What’s next?” Plus, there were parts of me that I rather liked, so the idea of becoming a totally new “me” just wasn’t in the cards.
If you’re in a similar spot, or any kind of major life transition for that matter, you can probably relate. Your identity was wrapped up with your career or a particular chapter of your life and now all that has changed.
The roles you played or the career you dedicated yourself to was comfortable, familiar, and for a while, felt like who you were meant to be.
Until it wasn’t.
When the career shifts, or circumstances change, and suddenly the labels you wore so proudly no longer fit, it can feel like the end of the world as you know it. That’s when the challenge arises—letting go of the past and embracing a new, authentic identity.
Transitioning between life chapters is like watching autumn leaves fall. As much as we might want to hold onto them, the time comes to let go. Yet, letting go of the past is easier said than done. It’s grieving what once was, mourning the connections and routines that defined us.
For me, it was a struggle. I clung onto outdated beliefs about my abilities and worth. I questioned if there was anything substantial left to contribute to the world. But deep down, I knew there was more to my story. That’s when I embarked on a journey to rediscover my true identity.
Understanding the power of the mind was my turning point. Our thoughts can either propel us forward through life’s transitions or become barriers to progress. I refused to let my mind play games that would hinder my growth. Instead, I chose to view my life as a book—a narrative composed of chapters and pages.
Realizing that my story wasn’t over, merely entering a new chapter, was liberating. I decided to craft this new chapter centered around my authentic self, rather than the corporate label I once wore.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar place—feeling lost or uncertain about your identity amidst change—know that you, too, can rewrite your story. Your true, authentic identity is waiting to be embraced.
The key lies in turning the page and designing a new chapter—one that aligns with your genuine self. It might seem daunting at first, but this transition presents an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and a chance to live authentically.
The secret is to embrace that change and understand your authentic self. It’s not just about personal growth, it’s about building a future that aligns with your true aspirations and values. And, dare I say that your values will likely stay the same, but as you align those values with your authentic self (not who you were in your career), you’ll identify new aspirations.
You may even start to follow your dreams.
I’ll be diving deeper into this in a workshop on January 26. Join me at 11am PST where we’ll be talking more about how to take the next step in not only identifying who and what you want to become in 2024, but how to set your day and mindset up for transitioning gracefully and confidently into your new lifestyle. Go ahead and register here while you’re thinking about it.
You can get in for about half the price of a T-shirt at Banana Republic right here. I’m not kidding. Look it up. I guess I haven’t purchased one in a while because I was about to write the price of buying 2 T-shirts at Banana Republic. Not sure the price of the T-shirt is worth it, but I can assure you the workshop is.