About Change and Transition

Understanding Change and Transition

The words Change and Transition are often used interchangeably.  In reality, they have very separate and different meanings.

Change – an external, one time occurrence.

Change is a shift from one person, place, or thing to another.  It is an event in our external world that happens to us.  When an old situation ends and something new begins.  Change can be imposed on us or self-imposed.

☛Examples of Life Changes include:


• Trauma
• Grief/Loss
• Empty Nest
• Layoff/Downsize
• Illness
• Caretaker


• New Business
• Career/Job
• Public Speaking
• New Parent
• Military/Former Military
• Personal (Boundaries, Mindset, Goals)
• School/Training
• Marriage
• Spiritual/Religious


• Moving/Relocation
• Relationship Dynamics
• Finances
• Promotion/Demotion
• Retirement
• Divorce


Transition – the internal ongoing process of dealing with change.

Transition is the emotional process we go through when when change happens, occurring gradually in phases.  This is how we come to terms with the new reality in response to change, the shift of one state of being to another.  It is letting go of how things were and embracing how things might become.

Sometimes transitions are not created by change, but by an internal shift in our being that tells us something is different in the way we feel about certain people, places, or things.  Transition can sometimes precede change.   For example, when we decide to look for a new job, we don’t just wake up one morning and decide to make a change.  Something shifted inside of us to make us feel different about our current job, and because of that shift, we are ready to make a change.

The way we manage transition is even more important than the change itself. Because our lives continually change, it is very important to develop the skills needed to successfully live in the continuous stage of transition!


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