Living Through Major Change – How to Make it to the Other Side
Change and transition are often referred to as the same thing, but really, they are quite different. Change to leads to transition which leads to a new normal. To understand the process of major change, it is helpful to look at the phases of change, transition, and the new normal.
Change is what happens to you whether you are ready or not. Whether good, bad or indifferent, driven by you or happened to you, change can be challenging. It starts the process of transition toward the new normal.
As the change occurs, individuals will generally experience a multitude of emotions – whether the change is chosen or not. The change phase is where the journey starts. In this phase, the future is scary, there is little control or idea of what will happen next. The emotions and individual experiences are joy, anxiety, anger, confusion, excitement and stress – all at the same time! Whether the change is positive or negative, the above will likely show up in some way.
In the change phase, you need support in the following areas:
As you move through change, below are some key questions to consider:
Transition is the phase of adjusting to the change. Where you learn to accept the change and begin adjusting to it. This is where beliefs, assumptions, values, behaviors, mindset, etc. are challenged and often must be rethought and reconsidered.
As the transition phase unfolds, it provides a space for learning and time to consider options. It is also a place of great uncertainty. The change has occurred and often a new path forward has yet to emerge. Spending time here is critical, it helps the individual adjust to and consider options. Many times this space is not seen as valuable and there is a desire to move through it as quickly as possible. Remember, it is here learning, discovery, and awareness occurs.
In the transition phase, you need support in the following areas:
Questions to ask yourself during the transition phase are:
The new normal is where the individual lands once the change and transition have occurred. Ideally, the new normal will be a combination of circumstances and choices. What is encountered here is directly related to how the change and transition phases were handled. The new normal is not a static place. Instead, it is a place of continued learning, which leads to necessary adjustments and modifications. Eventually the new normal becomes the normal.
In the new normal phase, you need support in the following areas:
As you settle into your new normal, consider these questions:
You have arrived at your new normal when it becomes who you are without thinking. Then it is simply, normal.
Any change – large, small, chosen or happened upon us – will have points of tension. Leaving the past in search of the future is never easy, even when the past is a choice. Our job is to reach out and gain the support we need as we move from change to transition to our new normal. The key is to effectively assess where we are in the process and then move forward with the right support, at the right time, in the right manner.
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