When we are born, we start out as infants. We grow up and become children. We go to school and move up from grade to grade. Then we become teenagers. Next we become an adult and grow old. During those times, we get a job, a new job, fall in love, go to college, get divorced, start a business, deal with the passing of someone, meet various people, have children, move away, etc. All of these things and many more are transitions that happen to us in our lifetime. These transitions can be smooth, but they can also be rough.
I have had small periods and long periods of transitions in my life. Your not alone in dealing with tough transitions that happen to you. Transitions in life are chapters that make up the story of you life. When one ends, another one is usually around the corner. These transitions can be difficult and rough for us.
For example, someone who graduates high school and moves out of the house and goes away to college is dealing with a big transition that can have multiple parts in it. One they are moving out and are going to be living on their own. That can be scary for people because they may not be prepared to take care of themselves health wise and even financially. The life skills and knowledge one acquires during their life can have a huge impact on how they will be able to live on their own and deal with real world things.
Second, going to college is a transition where one acquires desired knowledge and skills, takes on more responsibility, and where one’s discipline is tested and grows. You have to wake up, get ready, and go to class. You may not have someone to wake you up. The professors may not care that you are in class. You miss an assignment, handouts, lecture notes, even a test, it’s up to you to get them and make it up. Some professors may help, but that’s not a guarantee.
We can get caught up in the emotions that come with these transitions that they can help us move forward, but they can also cause us stress. We grow and we can change with each transition. The transformation process that takes place can may us think of the unknown. We don’t know what we will become of us during and after the next transition which can scares us sometimes.
Transitions can last for short periods, but they can last for long periods as well. An adjustment phase takes place and as you begin to get familiar with what’s around you, you feel more comfortable. Long periods of transition can be tough since, what I call the unknown factor, can make things frightening. Your environment is a big factor during a transition. This can include meeting the new people in it, the atmosphere of the place, and how we will be affected by it.
If you are having trouble dealing with a current life transitions or have had trouble with them in the past, here are some tips to help you with your next one:
1. Learn to Accept the Change
A transition in life is a change. When it comes to change, we can have trouble accepting it and adapting into it. We can fight it, but there are some transitions that happen that are out of control. The first thing to do is to acknowledge it. Then we ask ourselves if this is something we can stop. If we can, we stop it. If we can’t stop it, then we have to adapt into it. Continuing to fight the change can cause stress and increased levels of anxiety.
2. Patience is Helpful
Long transitions of life can be a transformative process that don’t happen overnight or even sometimes within the week. In a previous post, I mentioned leaving our comfort zone can be unsettling. Transitions take time, so being patient with ourselves is what we can do. We can be hard on ourselves for not adapting quickly into a new role or with the event itself which can be discouraging. We have to take things one day at a time and not expect to handle it or learn it all in one day, a week, or even a month. This advice may not be the best if you landed a new job and need to be able to adjust and learn things quickly, but that is what the job interview is for; to figure out what all is expected of you and learn if the job really is a good fit for you.
3. Change the Way You Think About the Transition
Stressvision is where your mind imagines that the worst is happening or will happen when in reality that isn’t the case. If we head into a life transition with a negative perspective, it will make the adjustment and transformative process harder to deal with it. Make up a list of the positive things that can come about from this transition. Recite them everyday, write them down and have them with you at all times.
Transitions aren’t always clear, this can be called transition fog. Here is a video of how to navigate through that transition fog from Brenda Kline Reynolds. She is a business and change management consultant who talks about how to manage the changes that occur with life transitions.
Life transitions have affect on our feelings and emotions. We can feel happy and joyful about them, but we also can be frighten and doubtful about them as well. Some people thrive on the new experiences whereas some struggle with them. If you are struggling with them, that’s ok, your not the only one. Don’t put yourself down or beat yourself up over this change. Give yourself a break every now and then as you acclimate into the next chapter in your life. If you take one step each day, then your doing good; even a little bit is ok. Remember, if you are having trouble with these transitions in any shape or form, there is someone else having trouble with them as well even the same ones your dealing with.