thriving in transition

stepping stones

Photo credit: ffela / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

transition. change. newness. different. upheaval. shift. passage

Last week I joined some teammates to offer a dinner and discussion for those who have come to work in our office from other countries. We had all experienced moving to a new place and there was much empathy expressed. We talked about the emotions, information, difficulties, and helpers.

While transitions can be painful, they are a source of creativity, growth and transformation.
~ Linda Naiman

No transition is easy – whether it is a new country or a new job, new city, or new stage of life. Here are a few things I have learned that help us to thrive, even during a difficult time of change:

  • Develop optimism – Be realistic, but also optimistic. Optimistic people tend to see troubles as temporary, controllable, and specific to the situation, whereas pessimists believe troubles are permanent, uncontrollable, and will undermine EVERYTHING they do. Healthy perspective is powerful. How are you viewing the transition?
  • Find meaning and purpose even in hard times – Staying connected to the important people in your life or doing something to help others lessens the focus on personal pain and the temptation for self-pity. What could you do for somebody else?
  • Take control – Focus on what you CAN do – small steps, little things, your personal care: sleep, exercise, nutrition; quality time reading or praying. What is something positive you can do today?
  • Be creative – Creative expression has the power to heal emotions, lower stress, and nurture the soul. When we get completely absorbed in a creative process, we relax and refresh our energy for the transition process. What creative outlet could you enjoy in your new place?
  • Improvise – Resilient people know how to solve problems using a variety of available materials. Do you remember the movie, Apollo 13? Mission control helped the crew use spare spacecraft parts to protect their limited air and return to earth safely. What could you improvise today to meet a need or fill a gap caused by your change?

Is there anything you would add to this list? What has helped you make it through change and transitions?

6 thoughts on “thriving in transition

  1. Great ideas, Terry! I’ll copy it and share with all the folks I get to meet who are in transition AND use it when I’m there, too, again some day! We never REALLY know when such an opportunity will come, do we?!


    • Wow, thanks, Alice! I hope it will be helpful to others too. That is a big motivation behind what I write… that my lessons or helps might bless someone else too. Love you. Thanks for encouraging me!


  2. I love the idea of approaching transition with a creative mindset, with the possibility of improvising before panicking. It’s really all about focus and perspective, isn’t it? And trying to be proactive in dealing with what we have no control over. Thanks for pointing us to hope and possibility, Ter. It’s positive and intentional and definitely more upbeat than succumbing to the pressure transition always brings.


    • Positivity, proactivity, perspective, possibility… all great “P” words for power in our lives for transition periods and life in general. I think “people” is another great “P” assest word. 🙂


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