The 10 Phases of Life Transitions

And how to move from the inkling to the celebration

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It begins with an inkling, a soft whisper, a gentle nudge…

Something is calling you to something more but you’re not sure what that is or maybe you know but you’re not sure how to get started.

This is the first sign that change is coming. Whether you’re ready or not, whether you’re fully conscious of it or not, you’ve stepped again into the flowing river of life and nothing is the same as before.

You are on the cusp of a transition.

Transitions are invitations to grow and evolve.

It takes a while to even notice when you are in transition. The signs are subtle at first.

Maybe there’s impatience with someone or something in your life?

It could be that you begin to feel an undefined uneasiness.

Sometimes a sense of dissatisfaction with your work or life creates a sense of confusion because on the surface, everything seems the same.

But it’s not.

Something inside you is moving, calling you to make a change.

Change seems scary but indeed what makes it so uncomfortable isn’t the change.

It’s the resistance to change that causes discomfort. (#aliciaisms)

The 10 Phases of Life Transitions

…and what to do in each phase.

If you are experiencing a sense of change or transition then use these eight steps to consciously move through the transition with grace and ease. Get support to help you understand what is really happening in your life.

1. Unease: You experience a subtle discomfort with what is happening in your life.

Action: This is what I call the “inkling”. Write it down. See if you can name what you are thinking and feeling and what triggers this discomfort. Don’t push it away. Engage the feeling. Even have a conversation with the feeling asking it to reveal more.

2. Symptoms: You begin to respond with sadness, anxiety or impatience at little things.

Action: Notice what triggers this impatience. What is not working in your life? What do you want to improve or release. Be honest with yourself. If it helps ask someone close to you to notice and reflect back to you when you appear impatient, abrupt or dissatisfied with someone or something.

3. Wondering: You begin to ask “what if” questions and notice others who may be leading a life that you would like to emulate.

Action: Engage possibilities. You may not yet know what you want but you can experiment with possibilities that resonate with you and attract your attention. Try new activities, go different places, engage unlikely people in conversation. Doing things differently help you discern what resonates and doesn’t resonate with you at this time.

4. Fear: At this point you feel that making a change is a risk and fear and doubt kick in.

Action: Replace fear of the unknown to viewing the unknown as a place of emergence and creativity. This moves you into the generative field. This comfort with being uncomfortable allows you to be more creative and to broaden your view of things. Use the “backdoor” to move through the fear and calm the mind – enlist imagination, art, music, and poetry to evoke inspiration, courage and ideas. These backdoor approaches bypass the mental models and limiting beliefs you may hold that keep you from seeing options that would work for you at this moment in your life.

5. Act: Make a decisive act that will move you forward.

Action: Take one step forward. To determine that step ask yourself which options move you backwards, keep you stuck or move you forward. No need to make THE decision, just make A decision to move forward. Right now there is less at stake than what your mind is telling you.

6. Plan: Start planning your transition.

Action: Get a thinking partner or coach for support and to gain clarity quickly. Transitions are difficult to do alone. A coach can help you quickly envision your future and create a plan for getting there. Coaches can see what you cannot. They can offer possibilities you would never have thought of or considered. And when self doubt creeps in, as it does, a coach will support you reminding you of what matters to you now.

7. Move: Put one foot in front of the other.

Action: Each and every day do at least one thing that gets you closer to your envisioned future. You don’t have to take huge steps. What matters now is that you do something consistently to keep a focus on moving from where you’ve been to where you are going. Each day evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, what felt right and what didn’t feel right. This is how you create your path forward. Use your intuition and your feelings, not just your mind. Your intuition is the truth even in the face of your fears and doubts.

8. Assess: Reflect on your choices and options.

Action: It’s vital that you reflect on what occurred from making different choices and experimenting with new ways of being. What were your thoughts about this? How did you feel? What emotions came up? Did it feel right or wrong? Did your body experience tension or lightness? Ask yourself these questions consistently to check in on the decisions you are making during your transition.

9. Adjust: Adapt and change course as needed.

Action: There are very few life and death decisions. Any choice you make can be changed. Remember this. You will experiment with new things and notice that although you thought this was right for you, actually it isn’t. Own that and adjust. Learn from each decision and choice and take that learning to hone your path forward.

10. Celebrate: Acknowledge the journey.

Action: By following these 10 phases you’ll reach a new destination in your life. Identify what worked for you during this transition. What did you learn about yourself and the process? You will go through many transitions in your life. Learn from each one and the next one will be easier to engage.


Transitions are not surgery. You are not cutting something out of your life. You are using all that has been and transforming it into energy to create a new future.

People typically feel sad or loss during transitions because they experience transitions as loss. Reframe this thought and consider that nothing really is lost. You will make decisions aligned to what matters to you now, which may be different than before. You will move toward or away from activities, things and relationships in order to be MORE YOU, expanding your presence. As you discern what to continue and what to stop, you gather more energy for the generative process of creating something new. That is ultimately what transitions are about.

Transitions transform something that exists into something that wants to exist, to be expressed or created.

What phase are you in?

Engage the actions here to move gracefully through your transition.

Do not sacrifice who you are meant to be for the comfort of who you are today. #aliciaisms Tweet this!

If this sounds like you, if you feel you are on the cusp of a transition or if you have been thrust into a significant change in your life, then schedule a complimentary call with me. Let’s talk about how I can assist you through this time in your life.


Alicia is a writer, storyteller and catalyst for personal growth. She works with people who want to intentionally create a life that brings your heart and mind into alignment so you experience greater meaning, joy, peace and purpose in your life.


Twitter: @aliciarod



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