From elementary school to college, May notoriously brings the end of a school year. Some may be moving on to higher education, while others begin the search for their ideal job. For the rest of our lives we will be growing and transitioning into new phases.
Transitions (even happy ones) can be stressful and bring up mixed emotions and feelings. Oftentimes it can also be overwhelming and scary. So how can we prepare ourselves for these major life transitions? Taking time for self-reflection. By self-reflecting we can better embrace the change and make the most of our new roles & surroundings, because as the saying goes, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Guide for Embracing Change
Recognize that transitions are hard because they can shake your sense of identity.
Naturally we all define ourselves in part by our surroundings so when transitions take place it can be disorienting. It takes time to build a sense of identity in our new surroundings.
Being in transition is a wonderful opportunity for growth.
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? Are there areas that you’d like to make changes to? Maybe you’ve been neglectful of some important areas of your life. Transitions are an opportunity to begin practicing new habits and ways of interacting with others.
Remind yourself why you chose to make the change.
When you remind yourself why you made the change, its 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.
Recall other times in your life when you’ve successfully dealt with transitions.
Reflecting on your past can help you to make good decisions as you move forward.
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. If you’re at work, it might be a co-worker who you notice is having a bad day. When we make efforts of supporting others it helps us remember that everyone struggles at times, and that human connection can be a powerful aid in helping getting through it.
Part of what helps you feel secure in transition is having a support system.
Make an effort to stay connected. Keep in touch with your family, call an old friend, or volunteer at a local charity. Being able to share how you really feel can be a tremendous source of strength for you.