Yesterday's post discussed how we often have choices about change, even if none of the choices are particularly desirable. Today we'll look at choice when it comes to transitions to a change.
As previously mentioned, where a change is an event of some sort that results in a difference between something from the past to present, or from the present to the future, a transition is how we adapt to that change. Even if we do or don't have a choice in the change, I propose that we always have a choice in our transition.
The question is, do we want to make those choices, or just let the transition happen organically?
I have experienced both types of transition. In my youth, I wholeheartedly subscribed to the organic transition approach, where a change occurred, and I eventually adapted. My transitions were sometimes long and drawn out, and other times they were quick and intense. I was never really intentional about them, opting instead to just let them happen naturally.
As I got older, more experienced in life, and began taking on more responsibilities such as a profession and marriage/family, I realized that the organic approach to transition no longer served me as well as it used to, and began taking measures to be more intentional in my approach. When I was more intentional, I tended to also be more present, and when I was more present, I felt less stressed, more flexible, as though I was making progress and had a greater sense of control over my life.
There's room for both
I believe that organic transitions can be healthy, especially when we aren't interested in influencing the outcome, preferring instead to let the 'chips fall they may'.
But there is also beauty in being more planful with our transitions; making choices that support our adaptation, with the ultimate goal of creating a smoother overall experience. Even choosing whether to to go the organic or intentional route is a means of putting ourselves in the driver's seat of our change.
Sitting in the passenger seat of our own change is a choice, but one that many of us do not recognize. Because of this, we tend to feel powerless when, in fact, we're not. By recognizing that we do have a choice, and that it's up to us as to whether we're the driver or the passenger, we are better able to take responsibility for whichever seat we've chosen; either by settling into it fully, or by choosing to switch to the other seat.
The biggest factor to successful change and transitions.
I've previously written briefly about ways in which to facilitate a smoother transition to change. Also helpful is recognizing that we almost always have a choice. But the biggest factor by far to a smooth transition involves our personal principles, or how we think, feel, believe and behave toward the change and associated components. These are the aspects that can make or break a change effort and/or a smooth transition. Stay tuned for more in the coming posts.
Which do you prefer?
In the mean time, do you have a preference for either organic or intentional transitions, or do you choose one over the other depending on the change? Share your perspectives and let's get the conversation started!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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