Life transitions can leave us feeling fearful about our ability to cope and can seriously impact our self-esteem. We may lose a role that we have identified with for a long period of time or we may no longer feel as though we know our “place” in the world.
Life transitions require us to step outside of our comfort zone, manage ourselves and our environment in new ways.
Transitions are often challenging because as human beings we naturally strive to maintain the status quo. The subconscious mind automatically seeks to maintain paths of least resistance. When we experience upheaval in our lives our inclination is to postpone change and resist pain. The subconscious mind prefers what is familiar. Transitions can often create an internal chaos as one part of the self holds on to what “was” and another part of the self struggles to accept the new.
Life transitions can include: marriage, becoming a parent, changing careers, retirement, divorce, deaths, moves, illness, and aging to name a few.
Some transitions happen gradually while others may seem to come unexpectedly.
We can respond to transitions by experiencing anxiety, becoming depressed, feeling angry or by abusing substances.
Or we can respond to transitions through a process of self-discovery that leads to new learning and self-mastery. Working though transitions can help to build new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. New beliefs are often required if transitions are to become more comfortable. Managing transitions with grace and ease generally requires a new set of beliefs, tools and strategies.
Working through transitions can help us to regain our equilibrium, remember our strengths, gather new resources and renew our hope for the future.