Teri Goetz MS, LAC, ACC

Renaissance Woman

Take Hold Of Your Life During Times of Transition

No one likes change. Find opportunities for growth during any life transition.

Posted Oct 16, 2014

No one likes change. You’ve probably heard the quote, attributable to everyone from John C. Maxwell to Gandhi: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” The message: change is hard, people need help adjusting to it, and with it come opportunities.

We are hard-wired to find change threatening, for obvious reasons. Change represents the unknown. We might have to learn new skills or see things differently. Perhaps change will require us to unlearn old behaviors. It knocks us off-kilter, and we don’t like to feel out of balance.

There are changes we need to adapt to on a daily basis. Your colleague is fired and you have to pick up the slack. Someone cancels an appointment. These last-minute disruptions require you to shift gears and figure out how you’re going to handle the situation at hand. Though seemingly minor, even these changes may upset your internal sense of stability and tap into your fears or insecurities. If you have trouble handling these kinds of changes, ask yourself why, and review the suggestions below.

Then there are the monumental life changes: pregnancy, childbirth, divorce, empty nesting, job loss, a move, or the overwhelming loss of a loved one. A change like that can feel prodigious, like something you can’t recover from.

  • Find some alone time to examine what you’re thinking and feeling.
  • If you don’t have to make quick decisions, don’t. Honor the transition.
  • Do a head and heart check. Ask: “How do I feel changed by this? What is the best
  • outcome? What can I do to make this easier?”
  • Try to find an empowered and/or optimistic twist to what’s happened.
  • Embrace yourself and practice good self-care.
  • Recall how you’ve handled transitions in the past. What worked, what didn’t?

Taking time with the questions above will make it less likely that buried emotions will arise with a vengeance later on. You can get a grip on what is real versus perceived fear. Remember, allow yourself to grieve for the past but make empowered plans for a new future