Life transitions require energy, and it can be tiring no matter if the destination that we are heading towards is pleasant or not. This is because change of any sort requires adjustment.
As the saying goes, one door shuts, and another door opens. Sometimes we choose to close and open doors, and sometimes the door gets shut in our faces. Today is all about transitions. Transitions require energy, and it can be tiring no matter if the destination that we are heading towards is pleasant or not. This is because change of any sort requires adjustment. William Bridges, an English professor, maps out the cycle of change into three discrete stages. According to Bridges, every transition begins with an ending and ends with a beginning. In between endings and beginning is a discomfiting neutral zone that most people would rather avoid, but is essential for personal growth. At this moment in your life, where do you find yourself in this cycle of change?
Endings! If only life was as simple as and they all lived happily ever after. While some endings can bring a sense of relief or new opportunities, some endings can leave us in a heap of devastation or grief. Either way, when we move from the known into the unknown, and this can be daunting no matter what side of the fence, we find ourself. If you find yourself at the stage, it might be easier to push your emotions aside, especially if they lean towards unpleasant feelings. Validating your experience can assist with the sense of loss, and you can do this by journaling.
Moving into the neutral zone! This period can be brief or long, and if you have listened to other episodes, I am a big advocate for self-care. I understand the importance of it in my own life and taking the time to recharge. If you are already self-caring, you may revisit what you are doing to ensure it’s still working for you. Sometimes we need to adjust what self-care looks like as our lives change. No matter if you feel you are heading towards the promised land or toward the wilderness again take the time to process how you are feeling and check-in with yourself and others. If you require the support of a loved one or professional, ask for it. You know yourself best and put in place what you feel like you need to navigate the transition well. According to psychology today “researchers in the stress and coping field know that social support is one of the most significant keys to successfully managing change. Even an online community of people going through similar experiences can give you an emotional boost, as well as some practical tips.”
The beginning of a new chapter can bring a range of mixed emotions, and I wonder if that is ok? Sometimes we can put the expectation on ourselves to be, think or act a certain way which can be counterproductive. At times we can be our worst critic, remember to be kind to yourself in the process, and sometimes this can be easier said than done. Use this opportunity to learn about your strengths and close any gaps in your life. Look for the gold in the transition even if it’s just one thing. The situation might not be what you have chosen or hoped for, but sometimes the only choice that is left is how we navigate it.
On a finishing note, transitions are a part of life. While some transitions are longer than others, some are welcomed, avoided, planned or catch us by surprise. I desire that you have the support and tools to assist you as you move through the stages. If you are feeling stuck or need a safe space to talk things through ask for the support, you deserve. As always, it’s a pleasure to be able to spend these moments with you.