Consider for a moment driving down the interstate, focused on your destination. You begin to see signs indicating that the highway is narrowing: “Right lane closed ahead,” red barrels, flashing arrows. Change is coming, but thankfully you’ve seen warning signs and have been able to adapt. You begin to merge left and find yourself reacting to everything around you. There are brake lights you weren’t expecting, and the lanes are uneven and narrow. You are on “high alert”, but you know that there is a better stretch of road ahead.
The signs could just as easily say “Transition ahead!” Most of us have experienced something like this in our personal or financial life. Approaching retirement, experiencing the death of a spouse, facing job changes— these are all triggers that create transition in our lives.
One of our roles as financial advisers to our valuable clients is to set up “road signs” that help them see the transition they are experiencing. Knowing that you are going through a time of transition can be very helpful so that you are aware and alert.
Tips for going through transition:
1) Our first piece of advice for folks going through transition is “Cut yourself some slack!” ;-) This can also be stated as “Extend some grace to yourself.” We have found that it is tempting to be dogmatic or rigid at times such as this, perhaps because we are trying to gain control, but it can better to relax a little and lighten up. You will get through the cones and on a straight stretch of road again!
2) We also recommend that folks in transition seek counsel. We believe that there is power in speaking about your situation with those you trust. Sometimes just saying things aloud gives clarity!
3) Understand that you may only be going through this particular transition once in your life, but we’ve had the privilege of walking alongside hundreds of people in transition of one kind or another. We have probably seen something like your situation. :)