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Friday, May 13, 2011



Transitions are ALL the changes that occur in any aspect of life and one's experience of life and the life journey. This includes our career-life roles that comprise our life journey. Transitions act as opportunities for making new, often challenging, career-life choices that can lead us to success and happiness or sadness and frustration, depending on how we respond to transitions.  Transitions can involve our relationships with ourselves, others, our culture, our country via national elections, Mother Nature and weather, e.g., global warming, our entire Planet, and our expanding Universe. Transitions invlove all aspects of relationships and changes that involve our body, mind, soul, and Spirit. 

Every transition begins with an ending; an ending of old rules, our past thinking, believing, perceiving, and behaving-what we have been used to experiencing.

It could be getting a new job and ending our experience of being unemployed, or loosing a job that we thought was secure. It could be the start of a miraculous relationship when someone suddenly appears next to us at our favorite Starbucks seat, or the ending of a relationship that has offered its gifts and wisdom, and is no longer part of our intended life journey. It might occur as an illness, or a healing, or the acceptance of whatever outcome, without any attachment or fear. And, transitions could mean having a new baby, and the ending of being a couple, and the beginning of being a family:)

Endings come in all shapes and sizes; they appear in many varied colors. They offer a variety of flavors, not all of which are pleasant at first, but most likely the best medicine that the “doctor ordered” for our life journey!

The “doctor” can be experienced as God, Higher Power, the Buddha within, Atman, universal love, or any number of meaningful grounding beliefs, often influenced by our faith tradition, and sometimes experienced simply as a “guiding presence” or inner sense of self that seems to surround us as we navigate our journey.

  • If you have experienced some endings, you ARE in transition.
  • If you feel you are in transition, ask yourself, “What endings have I just experienced or am presently experiencing?”

There is a shift that occurs emotionally with our transitions; an inner voice speaking to us, sometimes very clearly, often in whispers, but grounded in our “physiology of truth” that only we can comprehend. We “know” that we are moving forward (although at first we might perceive our direction to be going backwards!), and we “feel” something, some force, perhaps a "Higher Power" as seen here, that is lifting us and facilitating our transition, through our pain.

That’s all we might know, but that’s all we initially need to know as our transition occurs. More insights await us around the corner.

Characteristics of Transitions

* Transitions can be scary, but should never be feared.

* Transitions always open new paths for learning and ultimately have potential for much more happiness.

* Transitions are often challenging, even painful, yet somehow are quite healing in their afterglow.

* You are NEVER alone in your transitions; you often feel like you are alone. In reality, you are always with God, Higher Power, whatever source from which you draw your strength, to help and guide you with your transitions.

* Transitions are an invitation to turn the obstacles you face into opportunities for moving forward.

* Transitions occur in the lives of ALL people, and yet only a few of us take the necessary time to truly reflect on their effects on our lives, as we experience them, and use them as “markers” - what I call “Hansel and Gretel crumbs” -  that lead us forward to a better and safer place for our potential to finally emerge in all its full bloom. It's important to have an attitude of adaptability  (as discussed in my previous post about Career-Life), to successfully experience your transitions. Maria Shriver wisely encourages us to reflect on our transitions, and challenges us to still believe we can truly make a positive impact from the wisdom gained from our transitions. Several questions can facilitate your transitions.

Reflections For Your Transitions

1) What specific endings have you experienced, or are you presently experiencing?

Make a list. Write three feelings that are associated with each ending, and circle the strongest feeling of the three under each ending.

2) Review your list of endings and your circled feelings. What is the general topic theme of your transition (work, relationships, health, etc.) and what are the sub-topic themes (not being valued or heard; trying to win approval, respect, or love; not feeing in control or powerful to do something, being abandoned, feeling uncertain, anxious, or fearful, etc.)

3) Reflect and then write a paragraph that best describes a summary of your insights and your feelings about your transition. End with a sentence that describes one possible source of strength for you, whatever that may be, that will most likely be a an important resource for your life journey, especially during your transition.

A Career-Life Change 12-Step Checklist offers additional questions to facilitate your transition and are located at the end of my previous post.


One critical key to successfully deal with ALL your career-life transitions is my post to facilitate understanding the role of values in your decision making process. 

Following that post, I will then present a discussion about Learning To Love Yourself in the context of “Regular Self”, “True Self”, and “False Self”, and how to use this paradigm to move towards less attachment while still maintaining passion for much in your life that is important to you, including your work and relationships.


This post deals with concepts contained in my self-paced workbook, Creating Careers with Confidence, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall. 

You might want to read my January 21, 2011 post, Career-Life: A Better Way To Navigate All Your Choices. It offers a new and powerful paradigm for viewing yourself, your life, your work, and all the choices facing you. This  paradigm  is useful for youth and adults, and expands the traditional way of viewing career as simply “work", to include “life roles”- one of which is our paid work role, with an emphasis on interests and values, that are important to the dynamics of motivation in humans.

This paradigm is packed with opportunities for motivation across the several major career-life roles most people play. Motivation is one of the four main factors that inform self-efficacy beliefs and raise confidence! Self-confidence can be the difference between looking for regular jobs, or Creating A Career with Confidence!

Youth & Adults

For youth, this paradigm helps make learning relevant because they get to imagine, dream, and explore about work that would be fun, engaging, and meaningful—relevant to their self-exploration of skills, interests, and values-- and then start to consider the schooling, coursework, and career planning that would best lead them to that most excellent work.

This is a main focus of ILP's (Individual Learning Plans) that are now part of an exciting national educational movement to make school and learning more relevant to career and life choices for ALL high school students, throughout their lives!

For adults, this paradigm helps them see the importance of balancing all career-life roles, and the dynamics of role interaction— how one role potentially affects all others in positive or negative ways. It also helps adults discover the great possibilities as they change their work roles several times throughout their work history, probably 7-10 times!

Common to ALL people involved in multiple roles that now define “career”, known as career-life, is a process called TRANSITION. Through ALL your transitions always remember, YOU ALWAYS MATTER and COUNT!

Please feel free to ask a question of make any comment. If you do not want to leave your name, you may simply make your comment as “anonymous”. Also please share this website or this post with friends or colleagues who may be interested.

** I am available for in-person or distance support regarding my posts, and offer a complimentary phone “mini-assessment”.

Please e-mail me at and leave your phone and best time to call, and I will be happy to call you back.

My phone is (781) 721-1200, and day, evening, or weekend appointments are available.

Thank you and warm regards,  EdC


  1. Great exercise! Can't wait to try it!!

  2. What a remarkable video!!!!

  3. So insightful and inspirational as always, Ed. Great point about transitions often being the "best medicine." For many of my own transitions, I can look back now and be thankful for the growth opportunity they provided that turned out to be so instrumental in getting me to a much happier place in the long run.

  4. Hi Edward,

    I enjoyed the ideas you wrote about in this post and wonder if in another post you might consider a case example or personal anecdote to further clarify and anchor your ideas about transitions. Great work!! Thank you!

  5. Thanks Anonymous,
    Please do try it, and make sure to see the other questions on the previous post that may also be helpful. Thanks for visiting and making a comment. EdC

  6. Glad you enjoyed the video Anonyomous.
    It IS inspirational and reminds us how we ALL hit obstacles in life, and have an inner resource that we can always draw upon to lift us up and move us forward. We each need to make our own decision about how we choose to face obstacles, yet we ALL share the same opportunity to access that "Higher Power' to facilitate our efforts. Thanks for your comment. EdC

  7. Yes Stevie,
    While transitions can really shake us up, emotionally and physiologically, and many other ways, they offer much promise for healing and progress forward to what is usually the highest and best. Our job should be to remain in a "collaborative spirit" and assume the role of an active participant in the journey. Yet, often we feel like tying ourselves down to a tent peg in the sandstorm as the winds of change swirl around us, sort of like Dorothy in her "Oz" experience holding onto her bed for dear life as she is flying around in the air. Thanks Stevie as always. EdC

  8. Hi Adam,
    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. Yes, I will include some personal/anecdote references to my posts. Some of my past postsduring the end of last year (October/November) included some of what you are requesting. That's a great suggestion. Transitions occur in ALL our lives, and it's important we use them to move forward with our career-life journey. Transitions are sort of the "wheels" or "wings" that move us forward. Gald you found the post useful. Regards, EdC

  9. That is such a great post, and your links are wonderful. There is so much wisdom in that Higher Power video, as well as the self-efficacy beliefs link.

  10. Hi Rick,
    Thanks so much for your comments. Glad you were inspired by the Higher Power video. It brings forth lots of good emotion all tied to a universal truth that we are ALL connected. I'm happy that you also found the self-efficacy links useful. I'll be writing more about that as well. Regards, EdC

  11. Thanks for a good post Edward. I especially like the point about transitions being defined by endings. I'll be sending my blog readers over to read this.

    In today's world of complex interdependencies and inherent change, I think that an aptitude, skill set, and nervous system tuned for transition is paramount. By "nervous system" I mean the more practiced you are at transitioning, the easier it is to face and accept new endings because you believe in your power to learn, grow, and generate new valuable choices. All Leadership Gift clients study and learn to teach this important life skill. It is the idea that courage is not an absence of fear but the ability to witness your anxiety while taking positive action.

  12. Thanks Christopher ,
    I apprecitae your comments AND links to your excellent website and blog focusing on leadership. I agree with your insight about practice contributing to increased belief in the power to learn, grow, and make wiser choices.

    Research clearly teaches us how "performance objectives" inform self-efficacy beliefs and increase our "power" to more effectivley deal with whatever situation we face, as you share in your blog, whether that involves "being a parent, taking on a task, a new relationship, a business or the future of a nation". Thanks again Christopher. Regards, EdC

  13. I liked it
    Thanks for sharing..
    Om Namah Shivaya

  14. Thank you Shashi for your kind comment.
    Your posts are always inspiring:) EdC

  15. I had WAY to many transitions lately! I also was just sitting next to you today at the SL conference! Hello again!

  16. Hi Circe,
    Yes, I imagine most people do feel they have had too many transitions and are ready for a well-deserved REST! Sometimes I myself feel this way, especially when there's lots happening with several projects and deadlines, etc.

    On top of all this, if one experiences health and/or relationship transitions, it can be overwhelming. We really need a pit-stop at the Oasis of Reflection. A place like SL can offer such an experience, so that instead of all the expenses and travel related stress, one can access a great conference on-line and even be in one's PJ's!

    Thanks for your comment and visiting my blog and website Circe:) EdC

  17. Transitions are very important in our life! You wrote a very detailed article! Thank you! As I am a student, once I decided to use the coursework writing help And I noticed it is very convenient!