Anyone considering transitioning is going to struggle with the weight of the decision.
It can often take years of denying who you are (it took me 39 years) and many of us try to live a life that's the opposite of who we are inside.
Believe me I did everything I could to try to fit in I did. I joined the army, got married had a child (which I have never regretted for one second) - but still I knew that I was not living my truth.
One night I was out in my home city of Newcastle upon Tyne and for the first time as Debbie out in public. It was the first time in my life that I wasn't wishing I was something I wasn't. People were using my name and correct pro-nouns and it felt right. I knew then that I was not going to live a lie any longer.
Some people may say that this was on a whim, that I made the decision without thinking about the impact that it would have on my daughter or family. If you look back you see I had attempted to fit into everyone else's version of what life should look like and be for long enough. I'd tried to live a lie and failed at it.
These steps are just a few ideas for you to consider prior to making your decision, or things to consider when you're contemplating your future.
It helps if you grab a pen and paper for these steps as it'll help:
1. Reason - I'm guessing like me you have reason to transition otherwise you wouldn't even be reading this. But seriously it'll help if you try to write down the reasons why you're considering making this bold step. It'll help you get clarity and seeing it on paper can make it all clearer.
2. If I do/don't - again this one shouldn't take long but write down your feelings, your thoughts on everything that you think would happen if you did/didn't follow through with this.
3. Worst that could happen - again this may seem negative but as you have the do and don't list in each scenario write down what the worst thing that could happen would be if you did those things.
4. Fears - The "F" word - it sucks I know. It crippled me for 39 years remember? Go back and watch my first few blogs on my YouTube Channel here you see I was scared about how everyone would react. Friends, Family, my daughter, colleagues old and new. The main thing you will see that most of the fears I had never come to fruition. There's a quote that everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of your greatest fears. I'm living proof of that.
Finally I know that this is difficult I've been there. It's the most exhilarating and scary decision you will ever make. But it's also the most important one. If you want to talk it through with someone who will understand you should really seek advice from your local trans-support group, LGBT switchboard or reach out to a coach or therapist specialising in this field - you can always contact me for a free coaching session and we can talk through this.
I'm going to sign off with a thought - If you're happy with who you are looking at in the mirror, and that person aligns with who you truly are on the inside. That's all that matters. This is your life - your truth - go live it.
If you'd like to see more on this then watch the YouTube training video here or you can download the podcast here