Change vs Transition

Charting the Course pixChange and Transition  are not the same thing. I suppose you could say they’re second cousins because they share some similarities. To make the distinction between the two, however, proves helpful when thinking about or planning next steps.

Here are a few characteristics to keep in mind as you consider whether it is change or transition you are seeking:

Change – 

  • can show up around the next corner which, by its nature, often makes it an unexpected visitor
  • frequently comes as a result of others’ ideas, plans, decisions, or actions that impact you
  • can be as fleeting as changing your mind about where to go for dinner, or as significant as being assigned additional workload in your newly downsized place of employment or now living in an empty-nester home
  • is evidenced by altering or modifying something already in place (the infamous ‘college-bound child’s bedroom now becoming the home office’! )
  • can also be seen as a part of choice, varying between options (as in where to go for dinner! )


  • is most often achieved by making a series of small or large changes that contribute to a shift of more major proportions
  • may be initiated as a result of others’ thoughts and actions, but is a move or conversion more methodical and proactive in nature (versus the often reactive nature of change )
  • can occur in a relatively short timeframe depending upon the circumstances and the goal of transition; or it may require a longer, more methodical approach (such as planning to change careers or relocating to another city or state )
  • often occurs when a longing or new mindset outweighs the former hesitations or inhibitions of taking some first steps in a different direction
  • like change, may also show up unexpectedly at times, but how well one transitions is often determined by how it is viewed or embraced (this is also true of change! )

By no means an exhaustive list, I hope this prompts some critical thinking on your part if you are contemplating something new or different; wanting a change or considering a much broader transition.

Maybe change vs transition is not something that’s hit your mental radar, but is more an inner sense or restlessness you’re experiencing.

Whether you’re spending nights incessantly turning things over in your mind, or going through your days in a constant state of mild (or otherwise ) agitation, unable to pinpoint what’s really bugging you…you might benefit from processing some of the life maps.

On the other hand, you may have some fairly concrete ideas of what you need or want to do, but how to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’ isn’t quite fleshed out in your mind or circumstances. You may be in a good place for engaging some life coaching.

I encourage you to read through the self-assessment statements and consider your answers. Then if you find you’re ready for a change or a transition, contact me today. I’m here to help!


~ Nancy

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