Navigating Transitions

By Brittany Dursi, LMSW

Life is based around transition.  Transitions can be anywhere from exciting and empowering to catalysts for feelings of embarrassment, lack of self-worth and a loss of identity.  However, no matter the transition it is an opportunity of self-growth if you approach it in a healthy way.

Most of us have convinced ourselves that sometimes, a transitioning phase is a dangerous territory. Venturing there long enough labels you “lost.”  We formed this idea that we are supposed to always know our next move and if we don’t, what are we actually doing with our life?

The thing is, transition is the constant.  Because of that it’s important to find our unique way of effortlessly navigating transitions.  In fact, transitions can be a time to reconnect with ourselves and explore the parts of our lives that are preparing to bloom. Instead of living in anxiety, we can focus on watering and nurturing those parts. 

Whether you are getting out of a ten-year relationship, getting married, changing careers, graduating college, having children, learning you are unable to have children, moving in, being kicked out etc.  These are all changes, a transition is the process we go through in order to accept and understand the effects the change has on us. (1)

It’s okay to feel lost, its okay to feel sad

Sometimes we have a distorted comfort in familiarity. We may stay consistent as a way to not “fall off the map.”  Other times we reach for consistency because we genuinely enjoy where we are.  Change can bring us out of our comfort, distorted or not and it can lead us to feeling sad, lost and anxious.  Those feelings are genuine, real and should be acknowledged.  Acknowledge them.  Talk about them, because avoiding them is putting a bandaid on a deeper routed cut.

Seek Support 

Whether you’re introverted or extroverted having support from friends, family or others who have been in a similar situation can help alleviate some stress.  Talk, ask questions, open your mind up to learn and expand.  Once you close your mind off from learning, you have closed yourself off from growing. 

Explore and be Educated

Assess the situation, ask yourself: what do I have control over and what do I not have control over?  Do not allow the areas you cannot control, control you.  Instead focus on what you can do.  Research, plan, expand.

Realistic Roads

Set yourself a realistic timeline and realistic goals.  You can’t feed an infant hard food before they have teeth. Start small, work on being patient and accepting that great things take time.  Work on not losing track of yourself based on what you see others doing. You don’t know their truth, do not let what they present and what you perceive of them dictate how you view yourself. Stay true to you, set realistic, obtainable goals and work up. (2)

Transition is beautiful.  Transition is self-growth. Transition is okay.

References:

(1)  http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/dont-just-go-through-lifes-transitions-grow-from-them/

(2)  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201307/keys-handling-lifes-transitions