Why transitions are so hard for rebels with a cause

They say that you don’t find your niche; niches find you. The more I understand myself, the more rebels I coach, the more I learn about the unique neurology of the gifted adult, I have surrendered to the knowledge that my sweet spot is helping ‘rebels with a cause’ through transitions — to a more authentic life, a better-fit job, or creating a new venture. And, I can see clearly in hindsight that I’ve always preferred working in this liminal space of possibility.

Transitions are usually more difficult for rebels, which is my term for the gifted adult: resistors of the status quo, constant askers of why, obsessors over fairness and justice. We tend to be dazzled by far too many possibilities, endlessly diverging while being deeply uncomfortable with converging. Diverging keeps us in the realm of possibility, while converging… well, that just triggers FOMO. What if we choose the wrong thing?

Our minds are like the starry sky

We’re divergent because our brains take in more information than most humans. We have low “latent inhibition,” meaning that our brain’s filter is more open and permeable, yet we also have higher working memory and intelligence to use all that extra information productively, connecting dots previously disconnected.

I like to use the starry sky as an analogy: when there’s less light pollution, the atmosphere is clearer; we see billions of stars whereas people in big cities can only see a handful of the brightest ones. We quite literally see what others can’t (which explains why they often look at us like we’re crazy when we point out that never-seen-before constellation.)

When faced with a transition, the neurotypical human — let’s say someone living in LA or London — looks at the equivalent of the night sky and sees limited options. This human can move in a straight, linear way to the next best option; the constellation pattern between a handful of stars seems clear and obvious.

Rebels, on the other hand, can be nearly paralyzed by too many choices. The night sky in the desert is dazzling and often overwhelming. It seems easier to stay where you are in this converged position, rather than explore what appears to be infinite possibility.

We need different tools to explore our options

Casual stargazers are content to rely on their eyes to discern patterns, but serious ones know that they need more advanced tools. If you’re searching for another planet that could provide a perfect habitat for you, a space telescope and spectrograph would be more helpful to narrow down your options.

Lucky for us, we have similar sense-making tools built right in. Our inner wisdom is powered by over 100 million neurons in our guts, and 40 million in our heart areas. I call it “navigating like a bat,” sensing rather than seeing or intellectualizing decisions. We can also turn to our core needs and emotions that drive our decisions. Sadly, Rebels tend to be over-reliant on overactive brains while neglecting the immense wisdom in our bodies.


  • Do you know what a whole-body YES feels like in your body?
  • Do you know what NO feels like, and are you willing to take NOs off the table?
  • How do you want to feel? Which direction will help you feel more of that?


I’ve developed a process called the Inner Compass that uses these senses, plus core needs, emotions and Archetypes, to narrow down the field of possibility to the options that best fit you and your unique gifts. Then we can experiment, testing and learning our way to a whole-body YES.

I have one 1:1 coaching spot left in 2020! I’m also developing a lower-priced group coaching program for developing your Inner Compass to navigate your transition. If you’re intrigued, simply click here for more.

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