Retirement Transition: 4 Reasons to Get Unstuck Now

Copyright (c) 2008 Lin Schreiber

As a coach, I’m always looking for the silver lining in every situation for my clients, and for myself. At the very least, I believe we can learn powerful lessons from everything that happens to us, and even the worst circumstances can open doors to wonderful opportunities.

So while the economy is in free fall, I’m excited about what possibilities may become realities. One of the most powerful things I already see happening with a lot of 50 to 60-something women is an awakening to the reality that they’re stuck in a life they no longer want to be living.

They want to retire the part (or parts) of their lives that no longer fit, but they don’t have a clue what’s next. They know it’s time to move on, but don’t know where or how to start planning the next thirty or more years of their lives. Instead of feeling alive and excited about the future, they’re feeling anxious and afraid. Overwhelm has turned to paralysis. They’re double stuck — stuck in a life that no longer fits, and stuck again, because they’ve not yet gotten unstuck.

If this is you, beware, because being stuck is:

A waste of precious time. Let’s face it. You’re not getting any younger, and unless you’re planning to live to well over 100, there are more years behind you than ahead of you. And since none of us knows exactly how much time we have left, why would you squander even a moment of it? This next life stage is your last chance to get it right. What are you waiting for?

A poor excuse for living. In fact, not even half as good as “the dog ate my homework.” Sure there’s a certain sense of comfort in being stuck. You’re not risking anything. You’re playing it safe. But it’s really a false sense of comfort. It’s just hiding out in your comfort zone. Spend too much time in your comfort zone, and it is lot like flatlining. You just plain stop living.

A lousy feeling. Are you bored, frustrated, disappointed, discontented, resentful, deadened, depressed, angry, anxious, fearful, unfulfilled, or any combination thereof? Not much fun, is it? These feelings end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more negative feelings you experience, the more negative you feel, and the more stuck you stay.

Totally lacking in passion and purpose. This is the really big one, because it’s passion and purpose that gives life its meaning. It’s what makes life worth living, what makes it juicy and delicious. Without passion and purpose you’re just going through the motions, and that’s what’s keeping you stuck in place. When was the last time you felt truly excited about life? Isn’t it time to do something about it?

Don’t worry. Being stuck doesn’t have to be terminal. The first step is acknowledging that you’re stuck. Then, admit to yourself that you want to get unstuck. Then, begin taking even the tiniest step to break your log jam. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, just anything that will get you moving again. It can be as simple as taking out the garbage, or calling a friend for support. Just do it. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Lin Schreiber