I am writing to you as an expert, perhaps still a student, of transition management. In talking with some of our clients, amongst our own team and with others here in the Washington, DC area, it seems important to reflect on, & honor what many Americans are going through…
From the Sudden Money Institute, I have learned there are 4 Stages of Transition: Anticipation, Ending, Passage and New Normal. We spent the last 18 months in Anticipation, and on November 8th (really November 9th) we experienced the Ending. Now, this is the important part… Passage is not an easy place to be. As you look at the attachment (see below), you’ll see on the second page, the Characteristics of Transition. Not all the characteristics are “positive” or feel good. This is actually normal. The entire nation is now in a HUGE ( or should I say “yuge”) transition. Luckily, in our country, we can pride ourselves on the peaceful transition of power- which began today as President Obama welcomed President-Elect Trump into the White House. I realize that is no consolation for many people. And that’s ok for now. While I tend to live in the “half-full” world, this is a time for all of us to cut our fellow Americans, spouses, friends & family members a break. Give them some space, don’t ask them to move forward yet, let them mourn. As Jared and I were just discussing, often we feel the need to look for ways to “fix” other people’s emotions, get them thinking positively and basically start “getting over it”. And yet, when someone is in a major state of transition, that may not be reasonable, but it’s uncomfortable for the bystander. It would be easy for us as financial life planners to try to start sending you our best thoughts (read: guess) as to what will come next. I’ll spare you from that for now. What may be more useful are the following tips for navigating through difficult & stressful transition:
• Take care of yourself. If you are in a funk…honor it and be gentle. Go take a walk, rest, do what you need to do to honor where you are.
• Reach out to others. It can often feel better to crawl up into a ball and just shut out the world when in fact, the best thing we can do is to reconnect with each other. Seek support and consolation. Realize that you are not alone.
• Turn off the news/Facebook, etc… There’s no need to make yourself feel worse and most of what is happening right now is just speculation.
• Begin to focus on where you can bring “light”, where you can make a difference. In other words, as we often say…focus on what you can control and where you can make a difference.
In the coming months, we will be sharing our thoughts from an economic and financial planning standpoint as to what we think will happen next and how that might impact our clients. For now, we just want to honor wherever you are and to ask you to honor whatever others around you are feeling. If you are looking for some support resources, I can offer the following:
Mindset by Carol Dweck (understanding how some of us see the world from a Fixed Mindset and others have Growth Mindset)
Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by the Arbinger Institute (a beautiful book about how we can end up seeing others as less than human and how that can create huge conflict…and what we can do about it.)
So, I close this message by saying that the last stage of transition is the New Normal. For some people, that has already begun. For others, it seems like they will never be able to get there and it could be a dark and scary world for many years. All we can do is to follow the tips above, try to trust the process that is our 3-branch democratic system and to honor where each of us are.
Take care and God Bless the United States of America.
Lisa and the Team at Omega
Attachment: Co-Branded Four Circles