Dr. Shannon Kolakowski
How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions
The best way to prepare for major transitions is to take some time for self-reflection. Use the following guide to help you to embrace change:
1. Recognize that transitions are hard because they can shake your sense of identity. We naturally define ourselves in part by our surroundings. When these surrounds change, it can be disorienting.
2. Being in transition is a wonderful opportunity for growth. Take a look at the parts of yourself and your life that you most value– how can you bring those parts of yourself into your new role? Next, look at the areas of yourself that you’d like to make changes to. Perhaps you’ve been neglectful of some important area of your life. Transitions are an opportunity to begin practicing new habits and ways of interacting with others.
3. Remind yourself why you chose to make the change. In the midst of feeling a little lost during a transition, it can be easy to regret your decision. When you see the big picture, it helps you move from feeling overwhelmed to understanding that this is a temporary adjustment, and while it’s difficult now, you are willing to go through some uncertainty and discomfort for the long term gain.
4. Recall other times in your life when you’ve successfully dealt with transitions. What helped you get through that period in your life? Looking back, how do you feel about the past decisions you’ve made? What were you proud of, and what would you have done differently? Reflecting on your past can help you to make good decisions as you move forward.
5. When you’re in transition, it’s easy to become overly focused on yourself. One way to shift your focus is to look at others who may need your help. Making an effort to support others helps you remember that everyone struggles at times, and that human connection can be a powerful aid in helping get through it.
6. Part of what helps you feel secure in transition is having a support system. Make an effort to stay connected; Find people who you can really talk to; whether it’s a trusted friend or close family member, being able to share how you’re really feeling can be a tremendous source of strength for you.