Skip to content

Transitions & The Ending

Read Time: 7 minutes, 10 seconds



Share this

The Ending is the second phase of Adapting to Change, but it is the first part in our Transition period, which includes the Ending, Turning Point, and New Beginning phases.

The Ending phase is an extremely powerful time during the Adapting to Change process because this is when you experience a significant amount of strong self-talk and emotions. This period is often about loss which can be difficult to manage successfully if you haven’t mastered coping techniques.

When you think of an ending or loss, what kind of emotions do you experience? Pause here and really give it a go. When you have a clear idea of your response, continue on.

Commonly during loss/an ending people feel anger, sadness, depression, guilt, fatigue, relief, and numbness. You might think mean thoughts about yourself or others, get into arguments or more conflict because your thinking is polarized (black/white, right/wrong, good/bad). Forgetfulness, doubt, disbelief, and confusion are daily occurrences.

Now, really imagine yourself in this moment when The Change and The Ending meet (see illustration below).

Each time one phase overlaps with another there is a transition. During this time, you have two colliding phases clashing into one another, carrying with them all the emotions, self-talk, and internal dialogue.

As you look at the list of responses, is there no wonder why you feel the way you do during the change process? You’ve got the external responsibilities of the change that happened PLUS the internal shifts pulling you one way and another. And if the phases share responses, say both phases make you feel stressed, then that increases the overall intensity of the response.

Endings can stir up a lot of strong emotion like anger, anxiety, sadness, and confusion leading up to depression.  We can also take the avoidance route and pretend like nothing is wrong.

Consequently, if we don’t deal with the strong self-talk and emotions that build up during the transition and well into The Ending phase, there might be physical ramifications in addition to the psycho-social-emotional triangle we’ve focused on, such as: ulcers, migraines, weight gain/loss, skin ailments, acne, etc.

It is important to address any strong thoughts and emotions we might have during this phase.  Carrying our emotions through the Transition process reduces our chances of successfully adapting to the change or making permanent behavior modifications for future growth.  We have to remember that it is not only our personal growth that will be impacted by us addressing this process but others as well.

Besides yourself, who else is impacted when you allow your self-talk and emotions to take control?  That’s right…everyone!

Your customers, clients, volunteers, students, children, spouse, partners, neighbors, drivers, pets, parents, siblings (yes, keep going) are impacted every time you are distracted by self-talk and strong emotions of The Ending.  You are going to do an activity that will drive home just how much bearing there is on our interactions. 

Interaction Impact Activity

Imagine it is a very busy Saturday at home and you are going through several phases of change at once.  You have a lot of distortive self-talk that is creating negative emotions as you are reeling from learning a major change at work is going to happen starting Monday. You go to interact with your family. What does that look like? How does that sound?

Instructions: Write down the continuation of the above scenario, giving yourself details of the interactions and outcomes. We’ve provided a work example below to get your brain thinking.

Work Example: Imagine it is a very busy day at work and you are going through several phases of change at once. You have a lot of distortive self-talk that is creating negative emotions as you are reeling from learning a major change at work is going to happen starting Monday. You go to interact with your next client. What does that look like?  How does that sound?

I walk up to them not smiling or having a happy tone in my voice. I ask, “Can I help you?” but I’m only going through the motions. They share with me their concerns and reasons for being in the office, but I don’t listen to them because I’m too wrapped up in thinking about Monday and how it’s going to impact my job. I offer them several solutions to what I think is their problem, knowing full well I’m guessing. They say thank you and walk out purchasing nothing, not raving fans, and the business just lost what could have been a profitable relationship.


Once you’re done completing your story, ask yourself the following question:

  • What is the impact your self-talk and emotions on your family interactions and relationship?

Here is the question you would ask if you answered the work scenario and a sample answer:

  • How can we summarize the impact our self-talk and emotions have on our customer interactions and client relationship?

Our customers and client are equally impacted when we fail to manage our self-talk and control our emotions. We are hired to perform excellent service by discovering our customers’ needs. We can’t do that if we are too focused on our own. It is expected that we excel in wowing the customer by showing empathy in difficult situations, which we cannot accomplish if we are wrapped up in our own emotions. This affects the bottom line for our client.

Now that we understand how important self-talk and emotions are, let’s look at how to manage them through the Turning Point phase.

Key Takeaways

This module provides you with an overview of the second phase of Adapting to Change, The Ending phase. Discussion is held on the effect strong self-talk, thoughts, and emotions have on the Adapting to Change process. An activity is conducted that looks at the impact our inner focus has on relationships. Through the module you will understand that dealing with your inner thoughts and emotions is critical to making it through the change process and cannot be set aside. There are significant consequences and ramifications that occur both individually and relationally if your internal reality is ignored.

Was this helpful?


Leave a Comment