From working with hundreds of women over the past 7 years, I’ve come to the realisation that that life is cyclical. We move through cycles and more often than not, we’re completely unaware of it.
They’re like seasons, and interestingly there’s no set time frame for each season but it goes something like this:
The Season of Discomfort
The 1st stage is the Season of Discomfort- you’re going along in your life and it’s not great. You feel agitated, uneasy, frustrated- it could be in your relationship, career, you want to settle down, it could be financial. You know that you need to make a change. You need to make a new decision, do something different and it is really scary. You try not to think about it as you don’t know how to start or what to do. There could also be a lot of anxiety and uncertainty during this season and it can last a while, until you make that change or you make that new decision and then you move into stage 2.
The Season of Pulling Apart
The second stage is the Season of Pulling Apart- you feel like you are pulling apart at the seams. You’re having to break down relationships, maybe you move house or country, maybe you change career or go back to college, maybe it’s a period when you’re no longer tolerating certain behaviours or people in your life and it requires you to be firm and put boundaries in place. A lot of what you are doing feels really uncomfortable and alien to you. You may be engaging in a lot of self-comfort or numbing behaviours. Maybe you feel like you’re hurting people you care about, or you’re doing things that are causing you pain right now but you know you need to do what you’re doing for you. You are pulling apart, tearing down the old to make way and make space for the new. You’ve started a transition of who you are and what you’re about and you move into stage 3.
The Jigsaw Season
Stage 3 is the ‘Jigsaw Season’- you’re now in the process of putting together the new picture of your life. You’re finding the pieces that still fit, and carving and creating new pieces. There is, of course still uncertainty and you feel a bit wobbly but you are feeling more determined now. You’re gaining clarity and focus. You’re starting to see what that picture could look like and it’s exciting- still scary and oftentimes difficult but you’re putting in that work and you’ve built up your resilience and you move into stage 4 which is progress.
The Season of Progress
The fourth stage is the Season of Progress and it is so welcome! You finally feel like you’re in the right groove, you’re gaining confidence, momentum , you’re seeing the results of your efforts. You’ve got that business plan done, you’ve been on some really great dates, you’ve lost that weight, you can run that 10k, you’ve saved that deposit- whatever it is for you! You’re thinking life feels good here, it feels charmed and magical. You’re moving forwards and closer to your dreams and you feel aligned- comfy in your own skill and strong within yourself.
The latter parts of this stage can be difficult to navigate- you’re so close to the big result, the big dream and fear often kicks in. We self sabotage, we procrastinate, we fear failure and often we fear success. Mind monkeys show up and question you- who do you think you are to have what you want? Who are you to be happy? To be successful?
This is normal and so so common and you need to keep moving forwards. Bring in the support teams in this period, bring in the coach, the trainer, the financial advisor- whatever you need to keep you on track! Far too many of us get so close, and then give up. Know that this doubt is often part of the process! When you stay on track, then you hit stage 5!
The Season of Joy
The final stage 5 is the season of Elation- you’ve done it! You’ve hit the big dream, you’ve done what you set out to do, you’ve published the book, you’re actually travelling the world, you’re engaged or you’ve bought the house, you’ve had the baby, you’ve got that promotion, you’ve started the business, you are living the life you have been desiring and you know that you DESERVE it!
This season is all of that good stuff! You’re there! This is the year that everyone wants to have and when you’re here, savour it! Suck as much goodness out of it as you can! You’ve up-leveled your life and you have those feelings of certainty and being in control- you know everything is ok.
But guess what happens then?
When we are comfortable, have a sense of security and certainty about our lives? Guess what happens?
We get bored, we get agitated, we get uneasy! And we slip back into stage 1 again!
This isn’t gospel! Maybe you’ll get bored and go back into the jigsaw season and change a few pieces and then can go back to joy, maybe you’ll stay in joy for a number of years.
All this is a framework upon which you can try and place your year, the past 12 months and then for you to try and place what you’re expecting 2018 to bring- what resonates with you the most and if you’re were to make a guess- where have you come from and where are you going?
Something to ponder anyway and I’d love to hear your answers!