Transitions (Part 1)
Transition is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. We've all had them, will have them in the future. Negotiating them well is an art! Transitions happen in our lives for a myriad of reasons. Transition means change, change is a part of life and a part of growth, it is, as they say, here to stay.
Change is often exciting and productive but it is almost always with some cost and pain in the process. Mixed with the new found opportunities are scary things like uncertainly, new places, people, cultures, ways of doing things, insecurity, vulnerability, feelings of apprehension as we move into new ground and territory, new things to negotiate and adjust to. There can also be feelings of loss, the lack of the comfort of the familiar,there may have been things we have to give up in the new place, job, season of life, some restrictions on time or money, the loss or lack of relationships. Transition has its impact on our lives, and even if its wanted because its a new job promotion for example, there's a season of adjustment.
In my Life and Business Coaching practise I spend a lot of my time with people in transition or who are thinking of making one. How can we negotiate transitions well?
Well, firstly just acknowledge that its happening, and that it will bring disruption with it, even if it comes because of positive reasons. Just ask the new Mum how that new life has turned her previously ordered world upside down! Or the professional who is embracing a new job working longer hours in another country, or the person who has lost a family member or is going through a divorce. Even prior to a new job opportunity there may have been huge frustration as we grew out of our current position and role. The fish in the tank above probably had to get mind blowingly frustrated before he decided the pain of frustration, or the longing for more space, or to be away from the restrictions of the other fish, compelled him to make the jump. Transitions have to become uncomfortable , often, on some level, or why would we initiate or embrace any change at all! Ever felt like that fish? I know I have!
Secondly, reach out for the new that is being offered to us, even if the transition has been prompted by seemingly negative circumstances. Hold onto the good in the change, hold the vision. This change is for our good. Even difficult things present us with opportunities to grow, adapt, add to our skill and knowledge base, become more understanding and compassionate to those around us as we empathise with their journey where it is similar to ours. New people and friends who are going through similar experiences often emerge,even where some of the current ones may drop off the radar for a while. things you did't know about yourself come to the surface both good and bad. the bad you can face and change, the good you can celebrate! If you have been through a bereavement divorce, a serious illness, you will know what I am talking about.
There are always people who will walk things out with you during these times. These people are precious and worth their weight in gold, especially if they have negotiated the terrain ahead of you! So ask yourself, who has done this ahead of me? Who can I learn from? How can I make this transition work of me, expand me, rather than run me ragged or trample me into the dust. How can I be strengthened and come out stronger through this? Who can I help along the way? In what ways do I need to adapt to embrace this transition? What do I need to learn? How can I add wisdom and knowledge to this process? Even if you didn't ask for this transition, or want it, you can make it work for you, to work towards your good in the end! You just haven't reached the end yet!
Thirdly, recognise that transitions take energy,commitment and time. Factor that in. Expect it. Plan for it. Accommodate it when you are in the planning or processing phases. Don't let that surprise you. They'll be the need mentally, emotionally and physically to meet the challenges that transitions bring with them. You will need to grow and adapt to meet the needs coming to you because of the change. This may take a a little longer than you think. Allow that time, give yourself a break. You are a human being and not a machine!
Fourthly, let go of the status quo. Many of us spend most of our time trying to keep things the same, under our control and management. Don't get me wrong, good management of our time, skills, energy and resources is essential for a healthy and fulfilling life. Being able to be flexible, work with change, expand with it and adapt is also a needed skill to ride out the changes life brings well, and make them work for us.
Lastly, hold onto the vision or who your are and what you are reaching for in the transitions. Change is messy! There's a great saying. If you want life, you better get used to poo! Yep everything that is living creates mess! If we can look past the mess to the life in the transition. If we can reach forward, towards the potential in every circumstances. If we can choose to let transitions cause us to become better not bitter, let them redirect and add to our resume not only skills, but the required character to sustain us not only now within the changes, but in the future. For we all get to work through future changes because we live on this earth,and where there is life, there is change.
Transitions in whatever form they come can be gifts that work for us, wanted or not. They are here to stay, and give us the opportunity of wisdom, compassion, grace, knowledge and prosperity, not just materially, but in life and character. Embrace your transitions. Make life great, we only have one!
If you are currently going through a transition, or need to provoke one in your life and would like some input along your journey, don't hesitate to contact me for a free 20 minute initial chat to see if I can help.