Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -Lao Tzu
- The Story
- Stages of Transition
- How to make it through
Are you currently facing a big life event or change?
People always make through transition, whether it is by choice or not. But due to the changed patterns that occur in life, transitions become difficult and disturbing most of the time.
It needs awareness of the situation and a methodology to follow. You also need to be open about your emotional reaction to the change. If you are aware of a conscious approach you can easily find your way through emotionally intense times. Moreover, you can avoid toughness of the paths, reconnect with your happiness and can easily get back to your new normal life.
Before we go through the topic of life transition, I want to share a story with you!
One Sunday afternoon, my colleague, Anna called me to inform about her breakup. I was shocked not because of the breakup news, but because of the casual way in which she had told me. And it was a brief call. I started anticipating the storm that might hit after this silence. After all, they both were in an affectionate relationship for the past six months.
I was right, because after her break up, she acted normal but was actually not. Her changed behaviour, half hearted work, unfinished projects and isolation from the people was a clear sign that she was trying to put herself in her own created confinements. Not to mention, looking at her condition it was crystal clear that the break up was from the boy’s side.
When people face hurt, they actually are in a denial mode in the beginning, but then they get angry either on themselves or on the person who has hurt them. Here Anna was self sabotaging by putting herself in an inferior complex, which according to her was rejection from someone whom she loved the most.
So as a supporter it was my responsibility to make her stand up from the chaos, amidst which she was totally lost.
I only asked her a few questions not with the intention of any instant answer, but to lead her towards openness and clarity.
Is there still any chance of patch up?
Do you want to talk to him one last time?
Do you want to tell him that you still love him?
Are you angry at what he had done with you?
Will you turn your face on him if you meet him again?
Ask your heart and tell me, do you still love him?
She was silent, but looked determined. After that we met often, and talked about everything except her boyfriend.
So it took her about a month to actually accept the situation and move forward. Anna not only moved forward…in fact a better version of Anna moved towards clarity with self love and self acceptance.
Generally people try to hibernate when they face such circumstances, but what I advice is that they shouldn’t deal with such situations alone, either they take help of the expert inside of them or of someone they look up to for support.
Let me share something wonderful here, today Anna is a different person altogether. She has no regrets about that incident anymore. In-fact she is grateful for all that took place at that time because its consequences made her realise her self worth and self reliance. She is a happy, independent and a confident person
Important: Everyone goes through the process of transition at their own speed. Some people will be receptive to the change and will have a smooth transition. Others might find it tougher to deal with the first two stages of it.
Stages of Transition
People find themselves in overwhelming situation, confusion and denial mode. They try to act normal and even push their supporters away.
What to do-
- Avoid hasty and impulsive decisions
Where did I go wrong and what should I have done differently?
Doubts, depressing thoughts, helplessness makes them feel low.
People keep thinking about their past and allow it to constantly remind them of their mistakes or imperfections. The result of this thinking drags them towards depression.
What to do-
- It’s okay…Talk about your feelings to someone you trust and try to keep yourself busy
This is the time when people begin to face the change and the losses that go with that. They may feel very insecure going into the new situation. So accepting the situation makes it easier for them to move to the next phase
What to do-
- Count the positives and secure the new gains
“A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.” – Nikki Giovanni
People begin to accept the change and look forward for the better time. However, they may move between present stage and earlier stages for awhile.
What to do-
- Learn to look at the situation in a different way
After adventuring outside of their comfort zone, people gradually start to see some clarity. Things appear to happen naturally and it makes them happy. During this phase, it’s important to really enjoy that experience while staying true to the values.
What to do-
- Through positive self talk, see how this new change fits in your life.
- See how your life looks like. Accept it.
- It will feel like a new beginning of a balanced and normal life.
“Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t take.” – William Bridges
How to make it through
Follow these steps to avoid getting stuck during the stages of transition in life!
1-Respect this phase
Make it an organizing principle of your life. Don’t shove it off because it’s out of your comfort zone. Try to create new patterns and traditions for you to make it an example for you.
2-Take it as a challenge
If you’re afraid it will overwhelm you and if you turn it into an opportunity you can rise above and conquer.
3-Focus on positives
Look for the positive signs in every change, and you’ll feel a lot better. Changes in routine can help to stimulate your neurological system, allowing you to develop new neural pathways.
4-Reflect on your situation
Use a transition to reflect on where your life has been, and where it’s going. Self introspection helps you to get the answers with complete clarity. Turn to your support system
5-Realize change is inevitable
No one ever gets through life without undergoing some type of change, so when it happens, don’t fight it.
Transition can be a period of self growth only if you approach it with a positive attitude
Things to remember
- Keep in mind that change is inevitable, so be ready for it and adapt it quickly as it occurs.
- Change happens, and they can keep shifting your goal and purpose in life.
- Never lose track of your real aim, keep following your dream and purpose in life.
The changes we dread most may contain our salvation. -Barbara Kingsolver
Disclaimer – This post is a personal view of the author.