The Ten Steps That Make Transition Easier

Transition is a time of change and there are ten steps that are really good to be aware of when you know change is happening, whether it is change you have chosen, or you feel it has been foisted upon you.

Traffic Sign "New Life vs. Old Life"Changes show up in all kinds of ways – at work it can be promotion, redundancy, new team members, a move of buildings, new systems and structures, change in management, new regulations.

At home it can be children going to their first school, leaving home or getting married; one partner gets a new job; moving house; a new baby; divorce; moving countries; a change in health of any family member; death of a family member or friend; a change in diet.

Essentially, of course, we are going through changes continually. But they are often so small we only notice the big ones that have more of an impact.

Whatever change is happening for you right now, observing these 10 steps will help you negotiate the change more easily and smoothly.

  1. Take your time. Transitioning from one set of circumstances to another is a time of uncertainty. By definition you are no longer the person you were, and are not yet fully the person you are becoming. This is a process that takes time – so don’t push yourself, and let the process unfold all by itself.
  2. Arrange temporary structures
    Temporary structures will support Step 1. If you can, don’t make hasty decisions regarding your living accommodation, your job, or even your relationships. Creating stability or permanency may be desirable as a way of calming any anxiety that is raising its head, but it’s inappropriate right now. Instead, focus on calming down and releasing the anxiety or other concerns using techniques such as yoga, mindfulness practices, meditation, or creative pastimes.
  3. Don’t act for the sake of action
    When in transition, the mind (which is geared to your survival and safety at all costs) finds it very difficult not to take action. Nonetheless, action is likely to be inappropriate at this point. Take small steps rather than big ones if action is necessary; and discern whether you are acting because you are simply uncomfortable with your situation or whether it is really needed.
  4. Recognise and acknowledge why you are uncomfortable
    Be brutally honest with yourself about what is really going on. Tell the truth (to another person if that makes it easier) about what has happened and why you are in transition. The acknowledgement in itself will help lessen the discomfort.
  5. Take care of yourself in little ways
    Make a list of what little ways you like to take care of yourself. Print it out and pin up where you can easily see it. Make sure you do one of these ways each day.  Examples of ‘little ways’ could be:  candlelit baths, walking in the countryside, a nap during the day, going to bed earlier than usual, special foods, stopping work when you are tired, being creative, having your hair cut, a foot massage, meeting a friend for afternoon tea, listing what you have got in your life, rather than what you haven’t, choosing 5 things you are grateful for in your day at the end of each day, treating yourself to something you wouldn’t normally do.
  6. Explore the other side of change
    Be willing to explore all aspects of change, and its outcomes. Be brave and enter into scenarios (both positive and negative) about what this change may mean for you. Remember that this particular transition (especially if you don’t like it) may turn out to have hidden benefits.
  7. Get someone to talk to
    This means finding someone who will just listen. You don’t need their advice – you do need their non-judgmental, listening ears and heart. The old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ has a lot of truth in it.  Professional help is even better – it is deliberately one-sided (ie the professional is supposed to just listen to you, there is no two-way exchange going on) so you can relax into taking all the time you need without feeling guilty or that you ‘should’ be listening to them.
  8. Find out what’s waiting in the wings of your life
    Explore gently what may be round the corner for you. Put on your big girl (or boy) pants and peep round the corner or into the wings of your life and imagine the best. Be open to opportunities. You could even decide to say ‘yes’ to whatever is proposed to you for a period of time, and see what happens. Try it for a day and see what happens.
  9. Use this transition as an impetus to a new kind of learning
    Take a step back from your life by writing about what has happened for you in the 3rd person. If writing is not your thing, then create a video or MP3 recording about it. The crucial thing is to use the third person (as in ‘What happened to (your name)….’ as opposed to ‘What happened to me…’) Doing this will enable you to see more clearly what is going on, to discover any common threads in it, or links to similar past events, and to get a new perspective about your life. Embrace the new kind of intelligence that is available to you when in transition.
  10. Recognise and understand that transition has a characteristic shape
    Transition

 

Jane Duncan Rogers helps individuals and groups manage changes better in their lives, so they can make the most of their situation. Visit her sites www.giftedbygrief.com and www.wildwisdom.co.uk for more inspiration, insight and wisdom.

 

Floods of tears and an epiphany.

What is it about life, that it so often seems to give different directions from the ones you thought you were supposed to be taking?

You know, like you thought you were headed in one direction, and then something happens and it’s clear you have to take a fork in the road, or a sharp turning, or occasionally even go back the way you came.

That’s what happened to me when I was away at the conference in Los Angeles.

As I listened to one of the speakers on the stage, it came over me in no uncertain terms that I was supposed to be up there speaking – but not about Wild Wisdom, or even Wild Wealth.

I was supposed to be speaking about Gifted by Grief (my upcoming book).

It was an epiphany, and it had some after effects, because although I’d flirted with the idea of the book being more than just a book out there, now it became clear that there was more to be done, speaking engagements just one of those offerings.

This was a challenge because frankly, I’d only be up on that stage because of Philip dying, and I felt ambivalent about that to put it mildly, since the last thing I’d wanted (and he’d wanted) was to die.

I was in floods of tears for a short while in the arms of my coach at the back of the room, thank goodness she was there and understood the implications.  I took some time out with a walk outside in the fresh air. I skipped the next conference session, and wrote in my journal, and I allowed myself to fully adjust to what this might mean. And when I rejoined the conference, I started to share with those I met from then on about the book – and the universal response was positive.

‘It makes me have shivers’’, said one.
‘The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up’, said another.
‘This is so needed’, said several.

So what does this transition mean?

Wild Wisdom will still be happening as usual,  but I will be postponing the Wild Wealth programme (the launch of which was supposed to be happening in February) and focus instead on getting the book finished and out there, with all the supporting web pieces.

And you know what?

It feels FANTASTIC!  Now I’ve come to fully accept this, I’m having a ball!  My work before was enjoyable, in fact it has never felt like ‘work’.  But when I’m working on Gifted By Grief, it’s even better!

So what works when you’re going through a transition of some kind?  Here’s 3 short tips:

  1. Be willing to embrace what is happening. That means facing up to what has happened in the past, be honest with yourself about it, and accept the impact on your life. Painful, but necessary. You have to be fully where you are before you can fully let go and move on.
  1. Be willing to wait.  That means doing nothing much. It’s often a place of neutrality.  In my book, I go into this in much more detail, but basically if you take action too quickly then you’ll be skipping over what needs space to make itself known; and which can only make itself known fully to the new person you’re in the process of becoming.
  1. Be willing to appreciate, let go, and forgive (if necessary).  When you can do this wholeheartedly, you will then be able to say goodbye to the past with an open heart, and turn fully towards whatever the future is offering to you.  This makes it a lot easier to step forward.

I hope you can identify where you might be in all this, and able to recognize what is the next small step you need to take.