We go through many transitions in our lives, in different circumstances.
Here are some thoughts on transitions…
Imposed or initiated by you
This can make a big difference. The imposed ones usually take more getting your head around. The Kübler-Ross stages of change model – originally developed for understanding and dealing with loss and grief – helps people to navigate what can be a tricky path. (If you google “Kubler Ross Simpsons” you will find a short video that summarises the stages of change in a neat and funny way!)
Sudden or signposted
The timeliness of a transition has pros and cons to it. My children used to play a game called “Would you rather…?” Would you rather know about an upcoming change or not? On the one hand it enables you to plan, which can be very helpful. On the other hand a strategy of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” (and hope we have the resources we need when we get there), can work well. It’s not foolproof of course, but it can remove unnecessary stress and worry.
Done and dusted or drawn out
Transitions have an element of what Jung called liminality: “the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage” (Wikipedia) i.e. the neutral zone between an ending and a new beginning, such as a mid-life transition when we realise life does not go on forever! I once worked with an insurance company who had to make some roles redundant for the first time in their history. It was a painful time for both employer and employees. In trying to do things slowly so that all employees – directly affected and remaining – could process the changes, the transition took many, many months and ended up dragging on in what became an unhelpful way.
We hope this article is helpful for you in dealing with past, present or future transitions.