This is the second in a series of posts about transition. Everyone is in at least one of the five transitions-work, relationships, health, finances and roles/identity.
During this transformational process, we must be able to hold on to the reality of our own adequacy or we will fall prey to the enemy of transition: self-pity.
Self-pity can be defined as an excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness with one’s troubles. Visionmakers see it as a failure to see the self clearly.
We are abundantly gifted with knowledge, skills, gifts, talents, character qualities, experience and resourcefulness. If we remember that while we navigate transition, we will fare well.
When we forget that important fact and allow ourselves to fall prey to a sense of victimization we create the perfect conditions for self-pity.
Everyone is visited by challenges in transtioning, whether we lose a job, end a relationship, face illness, lose money in the stock market, or retire a role.
Those that flourish in transition remain connected to their power. Those that flounder lose that important connection, or misjudge the challenge and declare themselves under-matched.
That starts the downward spiral.
Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary General, has some strong words for those seized by self-pity: “Is life so wretched,” he asks? “Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up.”
Hammarskjold reminds us that maturity is measured by how we meet life’s ups and downs. His counsel appears to be to meet self-pity with rigor and fortitude.
We would do well to remind ourselves in those moments when we think we have failed, lost our way or been betrayed that there are more usefull responses than moaning and complaining. Sure, we will have moments of anger, sadness and disappointment.
But the true measure of a Visionmaker is how long they allow themselves to wallow in those moods. A set-back and defeat are very different things.
Only you can say that you are defeated. More thoughts next time on Visionmaking through transitions.
© Patrick O’Neill 2010. All rights reserved.