Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 3 Phases of Transition

When I was in the 4th Grade, my teacher explained the process of how a perfectly good caterpillar morphed into this icky looking thing called a cocoon and then eventually evolved into a beautiful butterfly. I learned then that there are 3 simple stages of change and transition that are universal. You may be in one of them right now.

Are you facing a transition? Maybe you are thinking about changing careers or the way you do business. Maybe you want to do something different with your life, but you don’t know what. Perhaps you are retiring or are recently divorced. Have you moved or experienced the loss of someone you love? Here are the 3 phases of typical life transitions that everyone experiences.

Phase 1: They all begin the same way: with an end. Something changes; sometimes something goes wrong. You lose a job, an important client, or even a loved one. It is the END of something, for all new beginnings start with an ending.

Suddenly you no longer identify with the person you have been, but you are nowhere near the person you want to become – and maybe don’t even have any idea who this new person will be.

Phase 2: You are at the edge of one cliff, seeking the other side, but with a sense of emptiness and loss in between. It’s literally the bridge in between. It feels like a void. It is a void. You are grieving.

How do you get through it? Here is my advice:

1) Don’t rush.
This is a time when you need to internalize more than externalize. Take time to be alone. Don’t rush through this stage even though it’s uncomfortable. (Most of us are desperate to get through it which actually prolongs it.) This time is the fertile ground upon which you building your life as a butterfly. Spend some time exploring possible visions of a new future. You will not only feel better, but the energy of the new visions will actually be creating it.

2) Discover more about yourself.
Get clearer about your deeper self. It will pay off handsomely. Find out more about what really inspires, motivates and impassions you. It may be time to make new choices, and you want to base it on fresh information.

3) Get support.
As a Mentoring and Mastermind coach, I believe there is magic in being with others who are also going through transitions. You are not alone. Support eases the pain considerably.

The final stage, Stage 3 of transition, is the butterfly emerging. Remember, we are always renewing ourselves – whether we choose to or not. It’s part of life. But while the “cocoon” part is still icky, there is no doubt you will evolve into a butterfly.

Transition is not a punishment, nor the ending of your life. It is the ending of some part of your life for sure, but that is only because you have a New Beginning coming. We tend not to see that. We handle our endings badly because – well, we see them ONLY as endings.

So, for whatever endings you may be experiencing, remember it is the signal that a New Beginning is coming.

If you want coaching, clarity, self-discovery or support threugh a transition go to www.firedupforsuccess.com or our networking site at www.firedupmastermind.com.