Transitions are the psychological and emotional shifts that accompany the major changes in our lives.
Because they are associated with change they can sometimes seem difficult. But they become easier when we realise that our whole life has been a series of transitions.
The first transition happened on the day that we were born. Our mother’s contractions formed the ‘Separation’ phase. This prepared us for the changes that were coming. Then, during the birth, we crossed the Threshold into the strange new world. And in the first few days of life, we Consolidated our transition by learning the incredible new skills of breathing, eating, seeing, and hearing. Most incredibly of all, we accomplished all of this seamlessly without consciously understanding or controlling any of it.
Then our lives became a series of changes and transitions: learning to feed and dress ourselves; going to school; learning to drive; getting our first job. All these things were difficult at first but success in each transition brought us new opportunities and new confidence. It expanded the range of what we were able to achieve in our lives.
This time of churning that we are living through is bringing us more changes and transitions at a faster rate than we are used to so it is easy to see this as a problem.
But with a different attitude we can learn to see it as an opportunity:
- to gain the skills that will ease us through our transitions faster and more seamlessly
- to develop a deeper understanding of and connection with what matters most to us
- to develop new skills and capabilities for inspiring ourselves and others to create the world as we want it to be
When we can do this seamlessly then every change and transition that comes along becomes an opportunity to improve either our understanding of what our priorities are, or our ability to achieve them, or both.
Then transitions have become our friend.
Have you experienced any changes or transitions lately? Did you find them difficult? Would you like to navigate them faster next time and use them to become stronger?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)