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5 Key Points to Help You Change Your Life

From Transition to Transformation

Often the changes in your life come from your basic need requirements; you may need to change where you live, your job, and/or your life circumstances to ensure your continued survival. Those basic changes will inevitably necessitate many other changes in order to completely carry you into your new situation. On the other hand, the “call” may be your inner voice telling you it’s time to change, meaning that you are ready to move to a different level, a different place than the one in which you’re currently situated. This movement, or “call” for change, can be on any level—physical, emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual.

Transition is a vehicle, a conscious catalyst (you’re making a decision) to set a desired goal in motion. Some of the changes we often make are small, representing little shifts in our daily life. These are necessary and often important but may not represent the monumental changes we may choose to make in the way we live our life. I use the terms “change” and “transition” interchangeably but I like the idea of transition somewhat better for these bigger changes because it implies the act of moving through something.

There are times when you can’t make change. For example, change may prove too disruptive to your life, or it may be non-negotiable with significant others, or there may be restrictive financial considerations. But if and when the opportunity and desire to make a big change in your life arises, and the path is clear for you to do so, you can make a conscious decision, taking the necessary time and effort to attend to what you really want to achieve in your life. It’s more than a big change, it’s a movement across time and space that takes you from here to there, from before to after.

When making big change it’s okay to be afraid. In fact, it’s healthy. For many people, fear paralyzes them, rendering them incapable of making any movement at all. People often avoid making change because they worry they will be wrong and/or make a mistake that will complicate their life or make it worse. Fear of the unknown is actually completely rational. In fact, without it we would be rushing into places we should not go. Rational fear allows us to cautiously explore what we have little or no idea about so that we can make careful and sound decisions about how to best proceed.

You have to prepare for any big change/transition you want to make. (I’m not talking about change that happens to you out of the blue; change you may not have any control over initially. In that situation you will have to adjust to what has happened to you and, over time, make the necessary changes after the fact.) What I’m emphasizing here are changes/transitions you undertake because you’ve made a decision to move in a different direction.

Before you embark on your next transition, map your trip as best you can, knowing that things don’t always work out as you plan or hope they will. Have a realistic expectation and reasonable timetable for the change to occur through transition. Some transitions take a relatively short period of time; others years, sometimes decades, and in rare cases, a lifetime.

The preparation for transition requires that you assess the situation to fully understand your options before you actually make the transition. When you process in this way you streamline your efforts so that you can fully focus your attention on the task at hand. Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of time and energy trying to figure things out as you go instead of maintaining total clarity for the work of the transition. It’s almost certain that when you transition, or move from one place to the next in your life there will be a fair amount of uncertainty as you move through the unknown until you reach your new destination. Learning to deal with, or even becoming comfortable with, the unknown is an essential skill in successful transition-making.

Gain reasonable closure on what is left behind. Although you may experience any number of emotions around this, try to understand the reason and purpose for the existence of this experience(s) in your life. Try to see the value to you of any experiences you’ve had, although you might have previously thought of it as nothing more than an obstacle in your path, or as an albatross around your neck. Your missteps and mistakes, your disappointments and disasters are the raw material for new opportunities and challenges.

Take the time to review what you’ve learned about change and your response to it to make the best possible choices and decisions. This means understanding your emotions as well as your beliefs. Emotions and feelings are commonly thought to be the most reliable indicators of who you are and how you express yourself. But often, the actions we take and the choices and decisions we make are based on ideas that no longer serve us, if they ever did in the first place. Going beyond your limiting beliefs may pave the way for changing how you transition moving forward.

Life transitions are living things, fluid in our memory and life. Choosing to see them in this way allows you to constantly revisit and reassess experiences that have already happened and to draw upon those experiences for valuable information about subsequent transitions within your life. In this way you can proceed in life more confident that you have the necessary resources and skills, as well as the hard-earned wisdom to accomplish whatever you set out to do.

When you make a decision to make a big change, to transition radically, you’ve sown the seeds for your own transformation. Transformation literally means to move across or through in order to change the shape. With the transition completed, the idea is to bring a new order; to create a new shape to your life.