How Naming What's Next Gives Clarity to Your Transition

How Naming What's Next Gives Clarity to Your Transition
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

What name would you give this season of your life?

Sometimes moving from one season of life to the next, in our life or with our team, can feel scary.  Shapeless.  Overwhelming.  Unending.

Will this ever be over?  Are we spinning our wheels?  Is this the way things will be from now on? 

I worked with someone who recently wrote this to his team:

[M]eeting with my coach, Thomas, last month, he challenged me to identify and put a name to this

season of my life. Over the last year, I’ve called it a learning season. However, when pressed by

my coach, I took time to consider, reflect, and journal my thoughts. After some contemplation, it

a phrase came to mind, strategic investment. Next year I turn 50. Every day represents both

meaning and significance. Every commitment requires discernment, purpose, and intentionality.

Every “yes” I say means “no” to something else.

What moved him from being a passive observer in his own life to a proactive leader? 

Naming his season.

Pausing to reframe this transition season in his life gave him a handle on what was happening in his life.  It brought clarity and focus.  It gave shape and purpose to the murkiness.  

A few years ago, I launched my own company helping leaders navigate what’s next.  And in doing so, I left a great job, steady paycheck, stable income.  Year one was hard.  It was a lot of grinding, knocking on doors, and spending sleepless nights scrolling the help wanted ads. 

I was in a season of transition from the life I had to the life I was building.  And it felt formless.

What helped me was to name my season.  I called it “Ramping Up.”

  • My months of low paychecks were not a failure, they were part of Ramping Up.
  • My days spent working two jobs in the day, and purising certification at night were not my new normal; I was in a season of Ramping Up.
  • My to-do list for the day had strategic urgency, because I was Ramping Up.
  • The lifestyle choices we made were not permanent; we were Ramping Up.

Naming the season was a daily reminder that this was not my forever life, but rather a season of life that I was in.  This season had an end.  I would not be Ramping Up for ever.  

Naming the season is a powerful tool in your personal life as well. 

My wife and I had a two month stretch this year where we graduated a kid from high school, another from college, hosted a wedding shower, moved one son from Arizona to Oklahoma, married off our daughter, traveled for work to Portugal for ten days, prepared to launch our third kid to college, and dealt with some significant extended family situations.


Heading into this season, we knew it would be a season where our margins were thin, our emotions were raw, and our energy depleted.

So we called this season, “Our Season of High Demand.”  We reminded ourselves often that this was temporary.  That this was a season we had always known was coming (thought not all at once).  That we had to lead ourselves at a higher level, and take care of each other more intentionally.

And when that season was over, it was over.  We had made it through.

What would you name the season you are in?

Recent clients I’ve served have named seasons:

“Rekindling my marriage”

“Strategic Investment”


“Finishing Well”

“Climbing the Incline"

“Handing it Over”

Just saying the words, “I am in a season of transition” begins to give shape to what feels so vague.

Consider what is ahead of you or your team for the next few months.  What is happening?  What do you hope the outcome will be?  When will you know this season is over? 

Use these questions to give this season a name.  Then realize it is not as scary and shapeless as it seemed.

I'd love to talk with you more about this. Shoot me an email and let's start naming your season today.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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