” Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

We tend not to like endings. Beginnings are so much more attractive, yet, whenever we begin something new something in our lives is also ending.

William Bridges, expert on change and transition, expresses it in this way:” We usually fail to discover our need for an ending until we have made most of our necessary external changes. There we are in the new house, or on the new job or involved in a new relationship, waking up to find that we have not yet let go of our old ties. Or worse yet, not waking up to the fact, even though we are still moving to the inner rhythms of life in the old situation. We’re like shellfish that continue to open and close their shells on the tide schedule of their home waters after they have been transplanted to a laboratory tank or restaurant kitchen.”

One of the keys to navigating the ending phase of our transition successfully is to understand our historical way of coping with endings.

Do you tend to bring things to an abrupt close, moving on swiftly and not processing what you have left behind, or considering what patterns of thinking and relating you take with you which will influence your new beginning no matter how hard you try to leave the old situation behind?

Or, do you prepare yourself for the new beginning by doing all the research; making sure you have chosen the best school for your children; renting a new home in the right area; making friends with your new colleagues even before you start the job …. Always looking forward, trying to make sure you are prepared, but not spending much time reflecting on what you are leaving behind, saying goodbye, or on dealing with unresolved issues  before moving on?

Are you perhaps a brooder who finds it difficult to let go of old thought patterns – grudges, past hurts, a sense of impending failure before you start something new, because you just know it won’t work out?

Or, do you recognize the need to say proper farewells, to tie up loose ends, to acknowledge what you have done well in this phase of your life which is ending, and to take note of your areas for development as you move towards the next phase.

What will you do the same? What will you do differently? What help will you need to make the transition successfully?

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”

Ellen Goodman

My wish for all of us is that we will leave behind the things which keep us stuck, create a vision for our own lives, and put in place and implement plans which will help us to look back on this year as one well lived.

Re-posted by Juliette Gyure, life and leadership coach