This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

life_transition

Hello everybody, welcome to episode 50 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast with life QnA's. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino.

Nice to have you here as always. We’re gonna answer a question today about transition periods; transition periods and how they always seem to leave everything hanging in the balance, especially the longer they go on. We’ll talk about why they can feel strange and what to do to move on from them into more permanent, stable phases of life. Enough blabbering from me though. Let’s hear this wonderful question…

QUESTION: “Why am I not settled on what I want? I’m in the middle of a big transition in life, except I don’t know what I’m transitioning into. I’m currently single, between jobs and don’t have real ties to anywhere. I have friends in different places, and there are many things my friends do that interest me, but it feels difficult to choose what’s really for me. Lately, I’ll feel upset and directionless in one moment, and then when something new comes into the picture, I’ll feel full of life and trusting in my path. This cycle continues and it’s very hard for me to stay enthusiastic about anything for an extended period of time. What is your advice for sticking to one thing?”


Listen to Greg narrate this post on surviving a major life transition in Episode 50 of the podcast Optimal Living Advice.


New Beginnings During a Transition

All right, there we have it. That is a weird place to be in, isn’t it? There’s something about new beginnings or transition periods: it’s easy to feel sorta caught between two places.

You don’t really have a past or a future, right? Your experiences from the past are only so relevant to this new venture, so there’s not a whole lot of points of comparison. But you also don’t quite know where you’re going yet or how to envision the future — so it’s this odd sense of suspension. That’s how I often see transition periods anyway, but what do I know?

Not Knowing What You're Transitioning Into

You initially asked why you’re not settled in what you want. And you’re not settled in what you want because you haven’t committed to anything yet; you haven’t chosen to believe in anything in particular. And until that changes, you’re going to keep feeling this way.

Here’s what’s happening: when people are transitioning, but they’re not sure what they’re transitioning INTO (as you so accurately summed it up, by the way) there is no certainty in life. And while this can be fun for a while, eventually the fun that comes with that spontaneity is going to need to get balanced with a sense of control – which I can imagine is right where you are by now since this feelings have gotten strong enough that you’ve decided to reach out and ask this question.

The world is running you, you’re not running IT, and anyone who’s not in the middle of getting their degree at a liberal arts college knows that this free flowing lifestyle can only be sustained up to a certain point. Mind you, I got MY degree at a liberal arts college.

Consider Your Own Path

Look, it seems to me that you’re latching onto others and their decisions rather than making any for yourself and that won’t do. Now, who knows why you’re doing this? Maybe codependence is something you’ve struggled with. Maybe you’ve got the old FOMO that’s going around. Or maybe you’re just someone who appreciates relationships and wants to do what loved ones are doing no matter what it is. I get like that myself. You should do some self-work or talk to a therapist to get to the bottom of what’s driving this behavior.

Meanwhile, just know the yearning for independence and the subconscious recognition of its importance will always be there. You’ll always associate yourself as your own person, and that means considering your own path separate of those around you. This means that as all of these interests dangle themselves in front of you, and the more detached you feel from your own identity, the more you’ll latch onto all these interests and scout each of them as potential suitors for the rest of your life.

“Oh, here’s this thing. It’s fun. Maybe I can base my future around this. Maybe this is what I need to get to the next step.”

That’s you right now. That’s my impression of you. And it’s all good. It’s a phase. But it sounds like there are a lot of fun things in your life, a lot of things to try on for size. When are you going to stick to one? It’s time to make some decisions and prepare for the consequences — namely the fact that you’ll inevitably feel regret at one point or another.

Making Decisions

And how do you make those decisions? Well you just do it. You act, and you stop waiting for motivation to do so.

You can act smart, however. And let’s talk about how you can act smart. See, you’re in a good position right now, because at least you have a lot of different interests that pop up and therefore a lot of potential good commitments. Yes, all these options might feel like a curse — as having a lot of options often does — but there’s no way around not sacrificing some things in order to make progress. There’s just not. That’s a card we’ve all been dealt and we all have to play it.

So let’s interrogate all these good options you have and put a new spin on them to see which could actually teach you about carving out a future that’s yours. Sure, we know they’re all fun in small doses. But each of these times that you feel, “This could be what my next move is all about,” ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Is this just good for right now, or is it good for me long term / is this something worthy of making my legacy about?”
  • “Am I fully comfortable here, expressing the truest version of myself?”
  • “How much time do I spend fantasizing about other things while I’m here?”

Questions like these help to separate short term fun from long term purpose, and that’s what you need to get to the bottom of if you’re having a hard time identifying what’s real between all the little jolts of hope. The goal really is to act fast, but still act in a way that reflects your values. And questions like these or the self-work required to hone in on what your values are is not really a process that requires motivation as much as it does some quick analysis and honesty with yourself.

Bundle Your Interests

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t have your cake and eat SOME of it, too. There are always ways to arrange your life in such a way that enables you to keep as many of your interests as possible while still being committed to a routine and calling the shots yourself.

Take some time to think about how you can bundle your interests. You talked about different groups of friends specifically. Things can get bundled really easily by conjoining some groups, maybe living in a place that’s closest to the most groups, working remotely, whatever. The key is for these decisions to be made as supplements, though; they shouldn’t really be driving the bus, because then you’re constantly chasing as you are right now.

Get serious about what makes the most sense for you based on your values, accept the inevitable sacrifice, and THEN do what you can to minimize the sacrifice.

——

All right, my friends. Thank you for listening.

Asker, thank you for sending this question in. Sure hope it helped. As I went through it, however, I couldn’t help but to think about episodes 2 and 3 of the show which answered questions about being at a personal crossroads and finding life purpose, respectively. So if you’re looking for more relevant feedback, I think both those episodes could be of use.

Actually, a survey was recently sent out to people who submit questions for the show, and a lot of people reported life purpose as one of the topics they find most interesting, so for anyone else who feels that way, yeah, head back to episode 2, and hopefully another question about life purpose will get sent in soon.

And if you’re the one with a question about life purpose, or anything else, send it on in to us via email. We’re at advice@oldpodcast.com

Send your questions there, and we’ll answer them here for you on the show. Sound good? Sound goods to me, guys. I’m gonna wrap up here.

Thanks for coming, everyone. Another one in the books. I’ll look forward to talking with you guys next time!


Listen to Greg narrate this post on surviving a major life transition in Episode 50 of the podcast Optimal Living Advice.


mm

Greg Audino

Greg Audino is a Rhode Island-born certified life coach, actor, and graduate of Goucher College.He is the host of the mental health podcast Optimal Living Advice and narrates dating, marriage, and parenting content over at Optimal Relationships Daily.
Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

Minimalism Tips for Family Cheat Sheet

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on minimalism tips for family members. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Join my weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and free tools to optimize your life (and make my day)!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

Minimize Your Wardrobe: Inspiration File

Enter your email to get our free Inspiration File on minimizing your wardrobe. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

Checklist: How to Declutter Sentimental Items.

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on decluttering sentimental items. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Minimalism

Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on getting started with minimalism. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

Checklist-How to Declutter Paper

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter paper. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - How to Declutter Books

Checklist - How to Declutter Books

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to declutter books. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

Checklist - How to Help Kids Learn to Declutter Toys

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on how to help kids learn to declutter their toys. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

Checklist - Bare Minimum of Items for Moving

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on the bare minimum of items you need when moving. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

Checklist - Why Personal Finance is Important

Enter your email to get our free PDF checklist on why financial literacy is important. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

Cheat Sheet - How to Overcome Money Fears

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on overcoming money fears. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

Bonus - Debt Payoff Tracker PDF

Enter your email to get our free PDF debt payoff tracker. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

Cheat Sheet - How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Stuck

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on maintaining your level of motivation. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

Cheat Sheet - What Should I Do After A Deep Tissue Massage?

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on what to do after a deep tissue massage. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

Cheat Sheet - Tips for Sitting at a Computer All Day

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to counter sitting at a computer all day. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

Cheat Sheet - How Do I Stick to a Budget?

Enter your email to get our free PDF cheat sheet on tips to stick to your budget. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

Expert Tips - How to Get Over a Breakup

Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on getting over a breakup. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Expert Tips - How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Enter your email to get our free PDF with expert tips on how to stop comparing yourself to others. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

Expert Tips - 10 Health & Fitness Quotes

Enter your email to get our free PDF with health and fitness quotes from Optimal Health Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

Cheat Sheet - Toxic Relationships

Enter your email to get our free PDF with tips on how to spot -- and get out of -- a toxic relationship. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration, quotes, life tips, and more!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

A Brand New You

Join our weekly newsletter for life tips, quotes, and productivity tools to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

OLD Podcast: Library

OLD Podcast: Library

Enter your email to get your password to access our handy library. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and life tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

5-Day Email Course - Get Started with Personal Finances

Enter your email to join our free 5-day ecourse on improving your personal finances. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Journaling Worksheet - PDF

Journaling Worksheet - PDF

Enter your email to get a sample of our journaling worksheet PDF with quotes and templates based on Optimal Living Daily episodes. You'll also get a weekly email with inspiration and tips to optimize your life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!