Plants gracefully adapt to change, and so do most living creatures. Transition is a normal part of the life cycle for all living things. But we women (and men) make the change process far more difficult than it needs to be. We fight and kick our way through it, even if the transition is one we’ve initiated.
Our complex thought processes help us to survive challenging circumstances. Yet these very same processes preclude us from thriving during times of change. While the family dog surrenders to change and may even make healthy adaptations to it (such as shedding her winter coat as warm weather approaches), our tendency is to overanalyze and worry. And all this pointless brain activity turns a natural process into a nightmare.
To complicate matters further, change is occurring at a faster rate than ever before. Ever-changing technology impacts every area of our lives. In fact, corporations pay “change management” gurus big bucks to help us learn to deal with change as effectively as do chameleons.
Transitions are difficult, even when we choose them, such as taking a better job or getting married. Transitions require that we let go of the past. This is hard for us, because we tend to stick with what’s familiar, even if it hurts.
Once we say goodbye to the past, we find ourselves in a kind of limbo, where we are disconnected from yesterday, yet not attached to tomorrow. “Limbo” is a time for reflection and introspection. It involves feelings of confusion, frustration and anxiety. But if we ride out the discomfort, we reach a stage where new possibilities exist.
Although we thinking beings will never handle change with the finesse of our plant and animal cousins, there is a way we can thrive during transitions.
Purcell, M. (2006). Don’t Think! Thrive Your Way Through Transition. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/dont-think-thrive-your-way-through-transition/000718
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.