Contribution Piece from two authors about how their books Starting Over (written by Jabu Zwane – mindset development coach) and Belonging (written by Alison Weihe – identity Intelligence coach) help you find transformation and lead you to your journey of finding self-identity.
Authors: Jabu Zwane and Alison Weihe
In this insightful article, authors Jabu Zwane and Alison Weihe share their distinct yet intertwined journeys of personal reinvention and the quest for belonging.
Zwane, the author of “Starting Over,” and Weihe, who penned “Belonging,” both come from diverse backgrounds but find common ground in their experiences of pain, a sense of alienation, and transformative life of events having to start over after losing a business, after losing a loved one, after losing a friend, after divorce or being widowed, after losing your path and self-consciousness to finding a new communities, finding new tribes of meaning, finding your belonging and finding yourself and your identity.
Two Authors found each other from Strangers to Collaborators: When you start over to open your world to new communities and tribes to help you build yourself identity and finding your belonging.
Their narrative unfolds from being strangers growing up i deferent world of apartheid South and different times. Almost through divine orchestration they end up forging a deep friendship, and eventually, collaborating professionally as their families draw closer. Alison became an identity intelligence coach through the hep of his community which she found in Johannesburg after relocating from Cape Town, Jabu became a mindset development coach after relocating to America and touring the US and upon his return he was able to help transform people’s mindsets and develop their thinking. Both experts exemplify how shared human experiences, despite varied origins, can build connections and create supportive communities.
Both struggled with insecurities caused by different experiences, both struggled with personal identity for different reasons, and both grew to have a deep desire to help others for the same reasons. Anyone dealing with self-doubt, grief, pain, suicidal thoughts, mental breakdown due to loss or pain can also find their belonging, find their community and tribes of meaning, but they have to first start over in order to attract the right people to help them transition. There are many ways of starting over in order to find your belonging and find your true purpose.
The Role of Starting Over in Finding One’s Tribe
Zwane delves into the concept of starting over as a pathway to finding one’s tribe or community. Weihe unpacks how identity intelligence leads to finding the right tribe that celebrates your authentic self. They explore the challenges and uncertainties that accompany this process, emphasizing the importance of embracing change and overcoming fear.
Jabu Zwane’s Reflection on Loss and Change
Zwane reflects on the loss of a long-term friend and the complexities of maintaining relationships through significant personal changes. He advocates for the courage to embrace new relationships and the willingness to confront and move through fear to discover one’s true purpose.
Here are some tips from both authors that cover in more detail in the book:
Ÿ Embrace Change: Acknowledge that personal changes can affect relationships. Embracing change as a natural part of life can help you adapt more easily and open up to new possibilities. Accept that your change can an imbalance in the equilibrium of your relationship ecosystem. When you change, others have to change with and not everyone will change.
Ÿ Allow Yourself to Grieve: Recognize that grieving the loss of a relationship is normal. Give yourself permission to feel sadness, anger, or confusion, understanding that these emotions are part of the healing process. Be compassionate towards the people you’re now losing; they too have to mourn the relationship their own way.
Ÿ Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from other friends, family members, or professionals. Talking about your feelings can be therapeutic and provide a fresh perspective.
Ÿ Cultivate Courage: Encourage yourself to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships. This takes courage, especially after a loss, but it’s crucial for personal growth and finding fulfilment.
Ÿ Reflect on Purpose: Use this time as an opportunity to reflect on your true purpose and what you want in relationships. This self-discovery can guide you towards more meaningful connections in the future.
Alison Weihe’s Journey to Self-Discovery and Community
Weihe shares her experience of relocating from Cape Town to Johannesburg as a pivotal moment in her journey of self-discovery. This move symbolized letting go of the past and embracing a new path, leading her to find a community that resonates with her evolving identity.
Finding your Belonging
Both authors emphasizes the power of finding a community where one doesn’t need to explain their transformation. Such communities offer unconditional acceptance and support, crucial for personal growth and fulfilment. Here are some tips by Weihe why it important to be open to new relationships as you transition from.one ecosystem of relationships to the next.
Ÿ Embrace Moving locations as an opportunity for a new start: View relocation or any significant change as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself and explore aspects of your identity that may have been dormant. Be graciously bold and courageous, and compassionately curious about your transition. Suspend judgment and activate curiosity and anticipation.
Ÿ Cultivate Openness to New Experiences: Be open to new experiences and people in your new environment. This openness can lead to finding a community that resonates with your evolving identity, just as Weihe did.
Ÿ Reflect on Past Lessons, but Don’t Dwell: Reflect on what you’ve learned from your past experiences, but
don’t dwell on them. Use these lessons as stepping stones towards your new journey, not as anchors holding you back.
Ÿ Build New Connections Mindfully: Actively seek out and nurture relationships that align with your current values and interests. These connections can become a supportive network in your new path. Alignment to your new vision is crucial for your own process of becoming.
Ÿ Maintain a Positive Outlook: Keep a positive outlook on the challenges and unknowns you face. A positive mindset can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and new discoveries.
Challenges and Rewards of Starting Over:
Starting over, whether it’s moving to a new place, changing careers, or entering new relationships after a divorce or the loss of a loved one, brings its unique set of challenges and rewards.
One of the main challenges is navigating new relationships, which requires vulnerability and trust-building. Overcoming this involves open communication and patience, leading to the reward of forming deeper, more meaningful connections.
The second challenge being financial. Starting anew often entails uncertainty and the need for careful budgeting. If unsure, don’t spend the money. Understand your money habits and put them in check, especially if you’re an emotional spender. This period tends to be highly emotional, making one vulnerable to emotional decisions, of which finances can be the most detrimental. The reward, however, can be financial independence and the opportunity to align spending with new personal goals.
Anticipatory anxiety is another significant challenge, as the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. Facing this fear head-on through proactive planning and embracing change can lead to increased resilience and personal growth. Have an exploratory and a curious mindset about the change. This will ease anticipatory anxiety into anticipatory enthusiasm. Enthusiasm about the change will make the experience more positive.
The inspiring journey of Zwane and Weihe illuminates the path of resilience and the significance of community in overcoming life’s hurdles. Their story not only highlights the challenges faced when starting anew but also celebrates the triumphs that come from finding solidarity in shared experiences.
It serves as a powerful reminder that while the road to belonging may be fraught with obstacles, the support of a community that resonates with one’s struggles can make the journey not just bearable, but also rewarding.
This narrative is a beacon of hope, showcasing that in the tapestry of human experience, it is our collective stories and shared understanding that weave the strongest bonds.