Transitions: Making Sense of Lifes Changes by William BridgesThe best-selling guide for coping with changes in life and work, named one of the 50 all-time best books in self-help and personal development
Whether you choose it or it is thrust upon you, change brings both opportunities and turmoil. Since Transitions was first published, this supportive guide has helped hundreds of thousands of readers cope with these issues by providing an elegantly simple yet profoundly insightful roadmap of the transition process. With the understanding born of both personal and professional experience, William Bridges takes readers step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, eventually, The New Beginning. Bridges explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future. With a new introduction highlighting how the advice in the book continues to apply and is perhaps even more relevant today, and a new chapter devoted to change in the workplace, Transitions will remain the essential guide for coping with the one constant in life: change.
Managing Difficult Life Transitions
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And not everyone is affected equally. Pillay suggests that personality determines how change impacts our mental health. For those who seek novelty, change is usually easier to swallow, while those who feel most comfortable with status quo will find life transitions more challenging. The brain feels more comfortable with old patterns, and anything new presents a dilemma. Meaning as soon as you feel stress, you want to go back to old habits.
After the classical anthropological studies on rites de passage, transitions in the life course have been constantly on the research agenda since the s. Flexibilisation of work, limitations of welfare states, changes of family structures and gender roles as well as longer life have contributed to a de-standardisation of the institutionalised life course with the consequence of affecting transitions between life stages in terms of uncertainty and risk. For a long time, primarily transitions between youth and adulthood — especially between school and work — have been addressed. Increasingly, however, the emphasis is on transitions in all life stages from early childhood to very old age, covering diverse situations, institutions and spheres of life child care, family, health, youth culture, independent living etc. Transition research has developed and diversified across different disciplines, epistemological interests and approaches as well as research methodologies, partly driven by the scientific community, partly by national and international political actors — and one may argue that the latter have been particularly influential in setting the agenda. These developments have resulted in a research scenery which is difficult to be overlooked while there seems to be a lack of theory on transitions.
Life transitions are challenging because they force us to let go of the familiar and face the future with a feeling of vulnerability. Most life transitions begin with a string of losses:. Any significant loss makes most people feel fearful and anxious. Since your future may now be filled with questions, it is normal to feel afraid. We live in a culture that has taught us to be very uncomfortable with uncertainty, so we are anxious when our lives are disrupted. On the positive side, these transitions give us a chance to learn about our strengths and to explore what we really want out of life.
Transitions are part of life. We experience transitions in our personal lives and organizations experience transitions. Transitions bring with them vulnerability. An unsettledness. Things are not what they used to be.