Transitions

Transitions are almost always messy.

Think about it.

Passing the torch from one administration to the next is rarely seamless. God knows the teenage years are a dumpster fire of braces and hair and insecurity. And some of the most turbulent weather on the planet occurs during the transition from one season to the next.

Transitions (self-inflicted or otherwise) aren’t easy, but they are necessary for growth or progress.

 

And for that matter, I find seasons of transition to be electrifying. The atmosphere is charged with change; something is afoot; something is becoming. [As a coach, this is where I thrive, this is where all the energies of my curiosity, interest, and support are engaged. My personal practice is laser-focused on working with clients who are in transition.]

Thus, here are a few practices I’ve found to be helpful during seasons of transitions.   

First, adopt the posture of a learner. Instead of exerting valuable mental and emotional calories on the fear, pain, or trials of this period, ask yourself often, “What am I learning about myself?” Prioritize opportunities for this reflection. Meditating in silence for even a few minutes a day can produce profound insights. [Pro tip: turn your commute into a meditation. Ride along with this question instead of turning to the phone, radio, or podcast].

Second, define the relationship. Rather than a white-knuckled grip on what was, ask yourself, “What do I want my relationship with {name the transition} to be?” This question alone has had a significant impact on my life. For example, once I received a rejection email to an elite opportunity I had applied for. My immediate emotions centered around hurt, anger, and resentment. Even in those first few moments, I could feel bitterness slithering in. Then this question halted everything: “What do I want my relationship with the pain of rejection to be?” It’s unavoidable, after all, so I may as well learn to address it. I then imagined “rejection” knocking on my front door. “Thank you,” I said, without inviting it inside, “for reminding me of the confidence, value, and belief that I do have in myself.” Mindset managed! I was able to address the negative emotions in a healthy manner and move on with my life. [more on this concept here!]

Transitions aren't easy, often messy, and essentially unavoidable. BUT, it is possible that they can be opportunities for growth instead of seasons of stress.

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