Transitions are the name we give to the emotional and psychological processes that accompany any major change in our lives.
Because they are associated with change they can often seem difficult, painful, or hard. But they can become easier if we realise that our whole life has been filled with transitions.
Our very first transition happened on the day we were born.
Our mother’s contractions formed the first, ‘Separation‘ phase: preparing us for the changes that were coming. Then, during the birth itself, we crossed the second Threshold phase. And then, out in the strange new world, we Consolidated the transition by learning the incredible new skills of breathing and eating and learning to see and hear and make sense of the world in ways we had never done before.
We had no understanding or control over any of this process and yet we accomplished it seamlessly. Then we moved on to the next series of changes and transitions: learning to walk and talk, feeding ourselves, dressing ourselves, going to school, making friends, riding a bike, changing schools, learning to play a sport or instrument, driving a car, forming relationships, getting a job, getting promoted, and so on. Many of these transitions seemed scary or hard, others were fun. But with each new transition we gained a deeper understanding of the way the world works, we learned more about what we like and don’t like, and we gained new skills for influencing the world and creating the outcomes we want.
This time of churning and change is bringing us more transitions than we are used to. But if we approach them with the right attitude and skills then we can learn not only to move through them faster and more smoothly but also to use them as an opportunity to develop new understanding of who we are, what we are willing to accept and what we are willing to stand against and fight for, as well as new skills and abilities for creating the outcomes we want in the world.
Have you experienced any change and psychological transition recently? Did you find it difficult? Would you have liked to have had the skills to navigate it faster and use it to your advantage?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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