Transitions Part I – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, May 30, 2019

As we continue on our own personal journey to build and strengthen our character, the topics for the next two blog posts will be around the important opportunity for our personal growth that comes in the form of transitions in life.  In today’s update, we will focus on transitions in the typical seasons of life.  Next week, we will focus on the need to create transition moments in life in order to continue to raise the bar in our personal growth or as a helping hand to get out of a rut we have created during the somewhat steady, routine seasons of life.

Psychologists, counselors, and a fair amount of academic research would indicate that transitions in life can be a major source of stress and anxiety.

As students, there is the stress of transitioning from middle school to high school and high school to college and/or the workplace.

As adults, the transition of single life to married life, married life to life with children, and then the reversal of roles as children transition to take care of aging parents.

In the workplace, we see transitions happen with new leaders joining the team, promotions or downsizing, acquisitions, new markets we enter, etc. that all bring about stress and strain in the workplace.

Over a few generations, we have seen our communities in transition from relative safe-havens to places where metal detectors greet us in schools and public buildings and the thought of a child riding a bike across town makes us anxious.

The stress and strain in these transitions is typically unavoidable for most of us.

However, with a slight shift in mindset, these transitions offer tremendous opportunity to grow and reach our full potential.  The mindset shift occurs when we acknowledge three simple truths (1) There will be periods of pain and discomfort in all transitions (2) There is truly no way to turn back the clock to the way things were as life is always moving forward whether we acknowledge it or not (3) Embracing these inevitable transitions opens a door to reach our full potential.

Once we make this mindset shift, the benefits to our own personal growth and to the positive impact we can have on those around us is tremendous.  When we are intentional about learning and growing through these typical transitions in life we will:

(1)    Gain a broader perspective:  As we transition through new experiences, we develop a greater understanding of other people’s points of view, experiences, and approaches which expands our thoughts and improves our decision-making ability.

(2)    Build resilience and strength for the future:  Life will never be free of transitions.  We can have confidence in knowing that as we grow through this current transition, we will become stronger and more resilient to deal with the next challenge in our journey.

(3)    Get a chance to push the “reset” button:  Let’s face it…we all make mistakes.  When we walk through these major life transitions, we are afforded the opportunity “start again” with the benefits of past learnings to guide us to more effective choices in our new roles and relationships.

In dealing with the typical transitions in life, the choice is ours.  We can go “kicking and screaming” through these transitions, or we can embrace the chance to build and strengthen our character and realize the truth that Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential.