Ok so you all know the 5 stages of grief? Well I came up with the 5 stages of transition from what I experienced between quitting my job to starting my own thing. Now that is has been a full year of working for myself, I have had some time to reflect back on my experiences. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows either, it was tough. When I look back I can laugh about things now but at the time I didn’t think I would make it! You have to remember I had been trained for the last 10 years, like an old dog, and only knew how to survive the corporate way of life so this was a big change for me. I had to re-train and re-program my thinking and open up my creativity again….what?! You’re telling me I have to leave the cave and drag something home everyday all by myself with no one telling me what to do, where to go, and when to do it?! This was a new world for me I didn’t come out of the box all ready for entrepreneurship so I wanted to share these stages that I suffered through that might also apply or help with any big transition in your life.
Discovery – OMG this was the best stage ever! You are excited about something new and the freedom you now have. You make all these awesome plans, see your friends and family, catch up on sleep and everything you have been meaning to do, go to places during the day just because you can. You have a plan and everything seems easy. You are re-discovering yourself and what you want to do. You are on top of the world and nothing can bring you down!
Distraction– This stage also has some good moments I also like to call it the “what do I want to be when I grow up” stage. You think about all the things you should have done but didn’t and you fathom the idea of doing something totally different. You mostly spend your days googling things and dreaming big. I looked into making and selling soap, retail arbitrage, and selling goods so much so that I even bought a trade name, got a sales tax license, and created an Etsy store and Facebook page. I thought about everything but accounting and tax which is what I have done and known forever. I just knew I was going to make millions with passive income and not have to work much at all ha!
Fear– After you have all this fun and come up with these grand ideas, reality starts setting in. You start to get scared about paying bills, being able to eat, and making any kind of income. You are too scared to invest any money into any of these ideas because you don’t have any money to begin with and don’t want to lose more. You start to focus on what you know and should do to make an income, which you are also scared about doing too. You are all of a sudden overwhelmed, don’t know what to do, where to start, and are too paralyzed with fear to do anything. You might also start to have feelings of regret and guilt.
Doubt– It only goes down hill from here. You start to doubt yourself and think that you can’t do it. You look at all the other competition, compare yourself to others, and think why would anyone choose me, why would someone pay me? You start to look at job postings and consider going back with a white flag to surrender. You feel worthless, stupid, and are super sensitive about everything. You have a major case of imposter syndrome and feel like no one in the world supports you. This was the hardest stage for me to get through. Most days I just wanted to crawl underneath a rock and disappear. I would get so upset about the littlest things in this stage because I was constantly doubting myself and feeling alone. I also drove my husband nuts during this time….sorry babe thanks for sticking with me during my break downs!
Confidence– When you are finally over yourself, and believe me you will be, you somehow just snap out of it. You get tired of being scared and being hard on yourself so you just give it up. You decide to go all in no matter what, you have to do something, you have nothing to lose. You just start and put yourself out there and figure it out as you go. You start to gain momentum and start creating processes. You start gaining confidence. You may not know everything but you learn from it. Each time you have more confidence and it is awesome. It gives you the strength to keep going!
You can never have too many Anchorman gif’s imma right?!
So that is what I experienced and I wanted to share with you all in case you are feeling anything similar. It may not be a freelancing situation like mine but I think in any big transition we all have experienced some of these. I also wanted to share these to let you know that if you are struggling there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some of these stages were horrible and very dark places and I have to admit it was hard to keep going at times. I want to let you know that you can get through it….it will happen if you keep trying. You may even go back and forth between a few stages and spend way more time in one than the other but as long as you keep at it you will get there. Looking back, I am so glad that I pushed through because I am enjoying life right now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So keep going and don’t quit, it is worth it!
Have you had any similar experiences during a big transition???