This post is the third in a series of posts on the 12 Transition Points, one of the Circle of Impact tools.

This is a strong statement. One that many people are resistant to acknowledge. It feels like we are admitting that we are a failure. But this is not necessarily true.

I encountered many people following the 2008 recession who were not doing well. They were hit hard by changing financial circumstances. Many of those had never encountered the kind of decline they were experiencing.

If things are not going well personally or organizationally, the first step is to acknowledge it. Even if you are responsible for the situation you are in, allowing yourself to wallow in feelings of guilt and embarrassment will not improve your situation. You will end up stuck with Transition Points #5: You are unhappy in your current life and work situation and Transition Point #6: You are tired of doing the same thing over and over leading to Transition Point #9: You are confronted with life decisions that have no easy answer or application. This is situation many people find themselves in. The transition that they are in has multiple expressions. This is why it is so important to acknowledge that we are in transition.

Let’s return to Transition Point #3. How then do we know when we are not doing well? This is a more complicated question than we might think. It is because it is not just about how we feel about our circumstances. It is also how are functioning in the Circle of Impact intersection of our Ideas, Our Relationships, and both the Social and Organization Structures where we live and work. If we are not doing well one of those three dimensions will show itself as the critical need.

Recently, I’ve had a number of conversations with people who are now or were recently at this point in their life. They felt a sense of disorientation. They sensed that there is no firm ground to stand, that everything was shifting like in a major earthquake. The image that came to me in one conversation was that of a big sinkhole. Something underneath the surface has eroded away the support structure that they depended upon. At some point, the surface collapses, and they are stuck in a hole.

The Circle of Impact provides us a way to identify the source of this loss of strength. In some situations, the business is failing. In other circumstances, the problems are at home.  To the world, everything looks great on the surface, but underneath the surface their problems are leading towards a collapse.

An increasing response to this transition point of decline is to quit in order to start over. Quitting, from this perspective, is not an escape. It is rather a way to bring order to that which was in disarray. It requires clarity of purpose, a supportive network of family and friends, and, in particular, the financial support to be able to go through the necessary changes required to start over.

I’ve been through this twice in my professional life. It is not easy because we become very aware of not only the problems that we are responsible for creating, but also all the obstacles that we face to find our way back to a better place. The best part of it is that it provides us a way to simplify, to crystalize, to distill down to the essence of what we want our life and work to be about.

If this is where you are, then I encourage you to join me for an Impact Day. From that experience, and the follow up sessions, you will gain the kind of clarity needed to feel like you are starting with a fresh vision and motivation to create impact.

We are all in transition. And one of the ways that we know it is to acknowledge that our life and work or business is in decline. Nobody else may know this. But we do. Accepting this reality is the first step needed to cross the threshold of change from where you have been to where you desire to be tomorrow.

A list of the 12 Transition Points are a part of the 5 Questions infographic that is sent to those who sign up for my newsletter at

Share This