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Throughout life we are continually presented with situations that challenge us to change and grow. This is especially evident at times of major life transitions. Some likely transitions might include:
Any of these significant events will place us in new roles with new demands. At these times, our usual ways of being and coping are challenged in order to adjust to the different situation. When circumstances require us to adapt quickly, the steep learning curve can undermine our sense of stability and call into question our sense of self.
Any changes, even good changes, are stressful. Both successes and losses, events anticipated or unexpected, desired or dreaded, effect our sense of self and how we move in the world. We can feel ungrounded, unsure of ourselves, young and child-like – even when we are taking on increasingly adult responsibilities. The more changes that happen simultaneously or within a relatively short time of one another compound the stress and amplify the coping strategies required.
Take a Stressful Life Events self-test
How we manage the changes in our lives helps create who we become. The resolution of adjusting to change enables us to grow. At each stage of development, we can successfully progress or get stuck in unproductive, limiting patterns. How we change and grow in response to life events impacts not only ourselves, but also those around us. While we might welcome the development, people in our lives may resist not only our revised ways of being, but also the changes it requires of them. This can create unanticipated conflict and stress in the relationships as they “push back” in order to maintain the status-quo leaving you each feeling misunderstood and unsupported.