Transitions and Changes in Your Life by Dr. Shannon Kolakowski, Psychologist and Author

Posted on23 CommentsCategoriesChange, Inspiration, Inspirational Books, Life, Life Change, Life Transition, Mindful, Motivation, Motivational Book, Personal Development, Positive, Quality of Life, Self Development, Self Reliance, Transition, Will Power, Your Inspiration
change and transition
“Being in transition is a wonderful opportunity for growth. Take a look at the parts of yourself and your life that you most value” 
~ Dr. Shannon Kolakowski

Major life transitions — moving to a new city, becoming a parent, retirement — can be an exciting and invigorating part of life. Yet transitions, even happy ones, can also be stressful and bring up mixed feelings.

Heidi always knew she would move to a new city after college. She wanted to live somewhere new and pursue her career in a large city. But her first few weeks after the move were much more difficult than she anticipated. Similarly, Jane found that after months of trying to get pregnant, she felt suddenly anxious and unprepared to be a parent when she found out she was expecting. And Mark, recently retired, was looking forward to improving his golf game and spending time with his wife. He was caught off guard, however, by the strong feelings of loss he felt related to his career-ending.

The best way to prepare for major transitions is to take some time for self-reflection. How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions Dr. Shannon Kolakowski,Use the following guide to help you to embrace change and make the most of your new role:

1. Recognize that transitions are hard because they can shake your sense of identity.

We naturally define ourselves in part by our surroundings. When these surrounds change, it can be disorienting. Getting married changes your identity from a single person to a partner. Having a child changes your sense of identity from wife or daughter to now include being a mother. A new job changes your identity or role at work. Carrie, for example, was delighted to have been giving a promotion at her company. Her new position had more responsibility, which she liked, but as a manager she no longer had the peer team she was used to working with. She missed her former colleagues and felt overwhelmed. She worried, Am I really equipped for this job? Maybe I was better off before. It took some time for her to re-build her sense of identity in her new role. As she became more comfortable in her new duties and with new colleagues, her work identity was reestablished.

2. Being in transition is a wonderful opportunity for growth. Take a look at the parts of yourself and your life that you most value– how can you bring those parts of yourself into your new role? Next, look at the areas of yourself that you’d like to make changes to. Perhaps you’ve been neglectful of some important area of your life. Transitions are an opportunity to begin practicing new habits and ways of interacting with others. For example, when Tracy got married to Heath, she used the wedding as a time to reflect on what kind of a partner she wanted to be and how she could work to make her marriage strong.

2. Set short time-limits for decisions.
If you do not have a time-limit for when you must make a decision and take action then you can just keep turning your thoughts around and around and view them from all angles in your mind for a very long time. So learn to become better at making decisions and to spring into action by setting deadlines in your daily life. No matter if it’s a small or bigger decision.
 
For more about this subject, look inside:
Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age
by Nicholas Carr 
3. Remind yourself why you chose to make the change.

In the midst of feeling a little lost during a transition, it can be easy to regret your decision. Why did I break up with Dennis? I’m lonely and it’s hard to find someone new. When doubt creeps in, review the reasons you made your decision: I broke up with Dennis because he didn’t treat me very well and I wasn’t happy in our relationship. I knew I didn’t want to be with him long term, and wouldn’t be able to move on while I was involved still with him. When you see the big picture, it helps you move from feeling overwhelmed to understanding that this is a temporary adjustment, and while it’s difficult now, you are willing to go through some uncertainty and discomfort for the long term gain.

 
4. Recall other times in your life when you’ve successfully dealt with transitions. 

What helped you get through that period in your life? Looking back, how do you feel about the past decisions you’ve made? What were you proud of, and what would you have done differently? Reflecting on your past can help you to make good decisions as you move forward.

5. When you’re in transition, it’s easy to become overly focused on yourself. 

One way to shift your focus is to look at others who may need your help. If you’re at work, it may be a coworker who you notice is having a bad day. How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions Dr. Shannon Kolakowski,If you’re in a prenatal yoga class, reach out to another mom-to-be that seems like she is having a hard time. Making an effort to support others helps you remember that everyone struggles at times, and that human connection can be a powerful aid in helping get through it.

6. Part of what helps you feel secure in transition is having a support system. 

Make an effort to stay connected; keep in touch with your family, call up an old friend who lives in the area you just moved to, volunteer or get involved in an organization, ask a new co-worked to join you for lunch. Find people who you can really talk to; whether it’s a trusted friend or close family member, being able to share how you’re really feeling can be a tremendous source of strength for you.

As you prepare for your new endeavors, know that the time you’ve taken to reflect and prepare for your next phase of life will help you live more fully and with purpose.

Source: huffpost.com
About The Author

Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Seattle, WA. Featured in publications like Redbook, ParentMap, Men’s Health Magazine, Shape and eHarmony, Dr. Kolakowski also maintains a relationship blog on the Huffington Post.

Passionate abouth helping people create the best relationships they can, Dr. Kolakowski seamlessly integrates the latest clinical research with her own personal experience and insight to help clients and readers be their best selves– both within and outside of reltionships. Because Dr. Kolakowski specializes in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders as well as relationships, she brings an added depth to her understanding of how you can improve all aspects of your life.

To read more about this subject take a look inside:  
Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age
by Nicholas Carr 

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23 thoughts on “Transitions and Changes in Your Life by Dr. Shannon Kolakowski, Psychologist and Author”

  1. I like that information because transitions are opportunities to increase our skills, talents. But also to recognize ourselves. And more important is , they define us as being the people we are destined to be.

  2. Change is the only thing that is constant. We need to remember that all things that we do have an equal reaction and consequence. What we need to do is to have the ability to foresee the things that may happen to us in the future.

  3. Time can only tell if our actions could trigger a positive or negative reaction from our surroundings. Change is the only thing that is constant. We need to remember that all things that we do have an equal reaction and consequence. What we need to do is to have the ability to foresee the things that may happen to us in the future.

  4. Transitions are never eassy and can take you out of confort zone, what I do is remembering that everything is temporal and dynamic and I shouldn’t get too confortable.

  5. In line with your point of view, especially when it comes to thinking about the future when considering the actions we take in the present moment. The problem for many is that they consider the energy and effort to foresee and think through what might be the outcome, too trite to factor into their hectic day to day schedule. The key is finding a way to slow down, perhaps learn how to fit meditation into your schedule. So valuable.

  6. It could be quite scary when trying to make a change in life, but change is inevitable and necessary especially a change to success. Setting time limits to make does changes is a very good head start.

  7. Really powerful piece and I think it perfectly illustrates how to undergo major life decisions. I agree, that staying connected and voicing your plans to others is really important when taking on a huge transition. I also think you should avoid making one when blindly when you are in the heat of the moment during an emotional outcry. Sometimes certain feelings like this will fade. Your major life change should be well assessed with the pros and cons and your friends’ and family’s input.

  8. This happens 24/7 but the trick is recognizing what changes really counts. On my end, I will always be thankful of being in the internet. It gave me my job and I will always be thankful to it. Good post!!!

  9. The important aspect is to find a way out to get slower. You have to learn how to meditate regularly.

  10. well..i have been through a transition before and it was a hard turn. currently i am faced with another during the covid19 pandemic. thank you for the information. helpful.

  11. The best transition and changes I’ve done with my life for the pasy 3 months is when I totally 100% stopped smoking. It was really hard on Day 1 but I stopped myself and discipline is the key. I exercise on a regualar basis especially doing jump rope and HIIT exercise to deal and cope with my nicotine withdrawals. I’m really loving the results and I made it!

  12. Turning points in our lives in a lot of ways, can either make us or break us. The secret is to use them to rewrite a new story about ourselves.

  13. Transitions and turning points basically give us a new canvas to paint our life stories. We should make the most of such opportunities.

  14. Self-reflection during major transitions can be so helpful. From experience this has helped me a great deal in my life.

  15. I like the fourth tip about recalling other times in your life when you’ve successfully dealt with transitions. I am glad I got to read this piece just when I am about to undergo a major transition.

  16. A support system is of utter importance when going through a transition. I am happy that you pointed this out.

  17. Staying focused and why you chose to change helps greatly to keep your eye on the prize. I am grateful for the eye opening article.

  18. Being better at decision making especially during a transition is the single most important thing I ever did for myself. I have seen huge leaps since then.

  19. These six tips on how to go about a major transition are life changing. I am bookmarking the page for future reference. I appreciate it a lot.

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