Calling Out that Awkward Transition Phase

If you speak multiple languages, you know the power of having just the right word in your vocabulary to perfectly articulate a thought.

And when it doesn’t translate well into another language—and you’re left feeling misunderstood—you quickly realize how powerful words can be.

So powerful that we need to get smarter with how we use them.

Some words should be eliminated altogether. Words that serve no purpose other than to perpetuate negativity. Words we use to label ourselves, like “stressed / busy / anxious”, which lead to feeling disempowered. Or words like “expensive / poor / broke”, which keep us stuck in a scarcity mindset.

I could dedicate a whole book to this, but instead, today, I want to talk about the positive power of words. The power of using words to make us feel Okay. Normal.

Isn’t that why we love memes so much?! They speak the hidden truth of our weird, crazy minds… showing us that our quirks and outlandish thoughts are actually common. When you share memes with your friends, don’t you feel a little bit more… at ease? More comfortable with who you are?

I recently came across a phrase that shifted my view of something. It gave me power and validated the discomfort I was feeling. It really isn’t revolutionary (and is actually kind of obvious)…

The Awkward Transition Phase

A phase that happens when you’ve started working towards a bigger goal, but your identity and surroundings haven’t caught up with it yet.

When you’re working to attract more like-minded people, but your old crew doesn’t support your new interests… awkward transition phase.

When you want to launch a new hobby, but you’re such a rookie and feel out of place… awkward transition phase.

When you step into a new role, but haven’t built up any small wins yet… awkward transition phase.

Having a label for this (really common) phase makes it so much easier to not take things personally. Make it not about your shortcomings, but about a thing that everyone experiences. Because they do—every successful person deals with it—they just know how to plow through it quickly. We, on the other hand, dip our toes and retreat.

I recently shared my life motto: don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life. This requires a constant state of transition…. and having gone through enough of them now, I have a quick checklist that can help you finally stop talking about the thing you want to do and start doing it.

  1. Create a schedule for the next few months. Take away the choice of getting started and make it so regimented that it feels nonnegotiable. Use it to carry you through the awkward transition phase. Start with a 30 day challenge, or in my case, a weekly cadence of taking small actions on a certain day.
  2. Find your hype man. Someone who makes your goal feel normal. They will believe in you and pull you out of your irrational thoughts. Every goal can be achieved with the right people raising you up.
  3. Train the muscle. We can get so absorbed with our own thoughts that we end up turning our goals into these grandiose beasts. Start breaking them down into a series of goals with the intention of building your muscle for discomfort rather than overcoming it in one shot. There will always be more goals waiting. 

I see too many amazing goals getting blocked by the awkward transition phase.

The discomfort you feel isn’t a reflection of your capabilities, it’s just a necessary step in the process. However, you get to choose if you’ll stay stuck behind this invisible barrier or plow through it.

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