|Most of us would agree that the last few years have been some of the most challenging times of our lives. These years have been a truly “dark night of the Soul” period.|
There is so much change in our world right now, it is confusing about what is really happening. Several of my clients asked me to define and discuss the difference between change and transition.
In his book, Managing Transitions, author William Bridges defines change as “situational.” Change could include working from home or working with a new boss, homeschooling children, ordering food online, or having your doctor’s appointment on Zoom.
There are also systemic changes occurring rapidly throughout our world in areas such as education, politics, medicine, and our environment, all of which impact our lives.
Change in itself is not a transition, Bridges explains. “Transition is the internal psychological process we go through to come to terms with the new external situation such as divorce, loss, death, isolation, fear of the pandemic, loss of job, a business, or a marriage, and relocation.
Change is external. Transition is internal.
Transitions are the internal shifts in our identity that help us adjust to deep external changes that we are experiencing. These are psychological issues that must be overcome or moved through before we can move ahead.
Often people get stuck in their old beliefs, shut down, and refuse to go through the doorway of change and allow for good endings.
All transition starts with an ending in mind.
Even if change is good, one must let go of something to make that change. When you let go of what is holding you back, you are in a neutral or wilderness space and time, and the ending is still not clear, or even perceivable.
We make new beginnings only if we experience successful, healthy endings. So it goes:
Endings first, then the neutral zone, and then new beginnings.
It has always been difficult for most of us to accept change and move through transitions to achieve new beginnings. And today’s rapidly changing world doesn’t make it any easier.
So be kind to yourself and others during this challenging time as we all navigate our external world to make successful transitions. Trust in yourself and others that we can, and we will!
Do you have patterns in how you deal with endings?
What endings are incomplete in your life?
Do you accept that someone or something has passed?
Please let me know if you have any questions about your transitions.