Are Transitions a Gift or a Curve Ball?

Transitions are an inevitable reality of life. No matter if they are planned or unexpected, or if we are young, middle aged or in our senior years, change will occur. Change may happen as a smooth process or hit us unexpectantly, like a bolt of lightning. Fortunately, steps can be taken to help us plan, accept and survive transitional times in life.  

You may know people who advise you to welcome changes in your life even though transitions may cause you anxiety and worry. Of course, there are positive parts of change. If you review your life’s many transitions, you will realize that you have survived many changes. Your strength and resiliency may have helped you through finishing school, entering the job market, getting married, becoming an empty nester, changing jobs, retiring, or losing a close friend or relative.

Every change has similarities and differences depending on the situation, timing, life stresses and responsibilities. It is helpful to reflect on the skills and steps that you have utilized while experiencing changes in your life. This will help you navigate the transition. Think about what emotions you experienced and remind yourself of your many strengths and skills.

Transitions are different for everyone. There are a few steps to take and recognize when faced with transitions in your life.

  1. Focus on your strengths and interests.
  2. Recognize that transitions are gradual and change takes time.
  3. Consider planning for a transition if you have advance notice. This may involve financial planning, researching new interests and talking to others who have experienced a similar transition.
  4. It is important to have a purpose in your life. Regardless of age and circumstance, this is a shared need for all people facing a transition.
  5. Consider working with a coach, counselor or therapist to gain insight into your interests and develop a plan for your transition.
  6. Look for a mentor or cheerleader to help you with your transition.
  7. Take time to relax and reward yourself since transitions are a stressful and challenging time in life.
  8. Consider learning new skills and reinforcing developed skills.
  9. Don’t make drastic changes.
  10. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your experience is unique.
  11. Most importantly- Be kind to yourself.


Transitions are viewed and experienced differently but each person. To some it is an opportunity for change. To others it is a roadblock in their lives with many deterrents. To others it is an inevitable part of life which must be accepted. Remember, change is an inevitable part of life.