December 17, 2006

Good day, team,

As we approach the end of 2006, I am contemplating the three stages of change: endings, transitions and beginnings. The holidays give us a chance to rehearse the three stages, as we mark the end of one year with parties, enjoy some time off to absorb the transition, and then celebrate the new beginning, usually accompanied quickly by resolutions to improve!

In addition to being festive, these rituals are important psychologically. If we don’t allow ourselves to fully experience each of the aspects of change, we may take actions we later regret because of our unresolved attachment to what came before.

The classic case of this confused process of change is known as rebounding: ending one significant relationship and starting another right away. If we don’t allow ourselves any time of transition between one person and the next, we miss the chance to digest what happened in the old relationship and learn from our mistakes. All too often, we then “jump from the frying pan into the fire,” repeating unsuccessful patterns of behavior and regretting the entire set of changes that have taken place.

So now is the perfect time to take a look at where we are in the stages of change. What do we need to let go of so we can move forward more productively? Where are we facing transitions and how can we help ourselves be patient during that state of limbo? How do we recognize when a new beginning has taken form, even if we didn’t initiate it? What do we need to do to commit to the new beginning?

For most people, change brings fear, and fear can paralyze us, preventing us from making necessary changes. Often we’ll hold on to things that no longer serve us just because they are familiar.

However, it helps to know that fear is predictable in times of change and that it doesn’t need to be the main force in our decision-making. If we can identify the things we need to let go of, we can make space for something new to enter.

Your challenge this week is to identify where you are in the change process. Are you letting go of something that needs to end? Are you suspended between what was and what is to come? Perhaps you are starting something new and learning how to deal with the challenges and opportunities that it brings.

Wherever you are in the process of change, try not to rush any stage because you’re uncomfortable being where you are. All things change, and sooner or later, this part of the process will too. It’s predictable!

Have a great week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

P.S. -The coach will be on vacation from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2. The next challenge will appear the week of Jan. 7. I hope you all have happy holidays filled with light and love! k.

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