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  • Michelle Barsky

What Are Some of the Common Themes During Major Life Transitions?


Whether we want to believe it or not, our lives are cyclical. Experiencing an emotion for the first time, such as love or heartbreak, may feel groundbreaking and revolutionary. But at the end of the day, humans have felt the same way before.


The comforting thing about this knowledge is that we can anticipate different themes throughout our lives. In major transition periods, such as going to college or getting married, we know that other people have gone through the same things before.


Hopefully, this knowledge brings you peace and can help to prepare you for the future.

Experiencing loss and coming to acceptance.

When you consider a life transition, the first thing that comes to mind may be the loss of a loved one. However, loss can cover so much more than that. You can lose a relationship or a professional accomplishment as well.


With these losses also comes acceptance. The five stages of grief are so well known because everyone goes through it at one point or another. By realizing that other people have gone through similar experiences, it may bring you comfort to know that you are not alone.

Feeling self-doubt to come to self-acceptance.

This is very common when you take a risk in life. These risks can include applying to college, receiving a new promotion, or putting yourself out there romantically. You may think, “I can never live up to my expectations.”


Would it surprise you to know that everyone goes through these feelings of self-doubt? Yes, even those in your life who seem incredibly confident have certainly gone through periods of self-doubt. You cannot come to complete self-acceptance without first doubting yourself. It is all a part of the journey.

Having wins and losses.

There will be times in your life when you are prospering and have accomplished many of your goals. You will have plenty of wins throughout your life. Graduating from school or getting a dream job are two great examples of triumphs you will experience throughout your life.


Unfortunately, with wins come losses. There will be times when you have less and you feel like all of your goals are out of reach. You may be rejected from a college you would love to attend or be denied a promotion. During these periods, recall and hold on to the great feelings of triumph you experienced.

Being happy and sad.

Ultimately, we all want to be happy. However, seeking out happiness to an extreme degree can cause more anxiety and stress than it would if you just wait for joy to come to you. Living your life and doing the best you can will bring you fulfillment and happiness.


Sadness, of course, can come from many of the above themes, such as experiencing loss. Hopefully, recognizing the relationship between joy and sorrow will allow you to remember that you will not always be sad.

Recognizing the relationship between themes.

Throughout your life, you will go through many life changes and will experience these emotions at some point. Sometimes, these themes will coexist at the same time. You may feel happy and sad at the same time; you may have gotten a promotion at work right after losing a loved one.


Going through such a wide range of emotions is what makes us human. Preparing yourself for these transitions and accepting that they will happen can help to make your life easier in the long run.


Ultimately, your life experiences are your own. These themes may or may not resonate with you and how your life goes. However, I hope that some of these explanations can help to bring you comfort as you walk through the crossroads in life. If you ever need help to navigate these life transitions, know that I am a resource you can always use.


Contact me to set up a phone consultation or appointment today!


For information on treatment for anxiety that may arise during major life transitions, check out the link.

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