Beginnings, Middles and Endings

end detour signI often explore with clients what part of their experiences are most easy and most difficult for them — beginnings, middles or endings? I think most of us have challenges in one or more stages. It is useful to be aware of both our challenges and our strengths.

If your strength is beginnings, you might have an easy time meeting new people and socializing at parties. You may do well at applying for jobs and going on first dates. You might be likely to be early or right on time. You are probably good at coming up with new ideas and initiating new projects. You might enjoy the excitement of new relationships.

If your challenge is beginnings, you might have trouble meeting new people, applying for jobs or asking someone out for a date. You may be late sometimes because that allows you to skip over the beginning. You may get stressed out when asked to take initiative or to come up with new ideas. The beginnings of relationships might make you feel very anxious and you might try to skip over the beginning and go right to the middle.

If your strength is middles, you might enjoy the time when you get to the heart of a project. You might like the time in a relationship when you feel comfortable and stable, when you can relax in the routine of the day-to-day life with someone. You might be good at working hard and steadily to move a project along.

If your challenge is middles, you may get bored once you get to the heart of a project or to the comfortable, stable time of a relationship. You may drop projects or relationships once you get to the middle so you can pursue something new and exciting. You might get anxious when you get to the middle of something.

If your strength is endings, you might be skilled at saying “goodbye” to people. You might prefer to end a relationship rather than continue slogging through what seems to be a tedious day-to-day life. You might be good at bringing a project to its conclusion and wrapping things up.

If your challenge is endings, you might get very anxious when you need to say “goodbye” and you may try to just skip the ending. You might prefer to continue a dissatisfying relationship instead of having to endure the anxiety of a break-up. You might have difficulty finishing projects by the deadline, or at all. To avoid saying “goodbye,” you may leave events abruptly or you may have a hard time leaving at all.

So how do you deal with the challenging areas?

  1. Increase awareness. Know your strengths and challenges. Pay extra attention to how you are feeling when you get to a challenging time.
  2. Accept yourself. Everyone has strengths and challenges. It’s not just you. Really.
  3. Plan for the challenge. If you know when things get difficult for you, you can plan for it. Arrange for extra support for your more challenging times. Anticipate what you are likely to do in your challenging time and make a plan for how to deal with it.
  4. Find tutors. If there are people in your life who are very capable in your areas of challenge, talk to them about what they do. Observe them when they are in a time you would find challenging. Ask what they say to themselves that helps them.

And now I’m noticing that I seem to have difficulty knowing how to end these blog posts. There you have it — trouble with endings.

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