Transitions occur in our every day life and it is a known fact that when properly managed, change results in our personal growth and development. However, our human nature tends to resist change and we feel more comfortable with the familiar. In fact those indefinable moments of life transitions often leave us emotionally sapped.

What more, even though challenging, you may have finally overcome the first phase of change. You may have acknowledged and accepted that your previous way of life is gone. You may have taken solid actions towards establishing a new pathway of life. But then you hit the middle phase of change and some new doubts and fears start to appear.

You start having ‘visits’ from some ghosts of your past life. They want to woo you back into your old way of life. It’s as if they really did not want you to leave in the first place.

May be you decided to change your career in order to spend more time with your family. This change requires re-training on your part and you have settled for an online course delivery for the next two years. However, mid-way along this goal, some ghosts from your past show up and try to convince you that you are losing your seniority status in your old profession. ‘Would it not be easier for you to drop pursuing this ‘strange’ new career and pick up a job which is easily available in your previous career?’ they tell you.

Ghosts of the past could be even more terrifying in cases of imposed life transitions such as a divorce. The fear is often gripping because you know that there is no way that the past can actually be revived.

How you react to these ghosts of the past often depicts whether you are successful in establishing your new status or not. Here are some tips to help you get rid of such ghosts:

1. Take some time to look back at the first steps you took after you made the decision to make the change (or after the change was imposed upon you). Check that you had taken adequate time to mourn your loss at that initial stage. It may be that you require more time or a more definite action to re-acknowledge that the status or relationship you lost is gone.

2. Take time to celebrate your progress in your movement towards your new way of life. You may not have reached that goal yet, but you are not the same as you were during the first moments of your transition. You may have just finished three courses out of the ten required for the career change. That is worth celebrating. Celebrating smaller achievements made on your journey will help re-affirm your confidence in yourself for success in your transition.

3. Put more items that signify your desired new way of life in the range of your central vision. This is a way of affirming that you are welcoming and ready to embrace your new status. Ghosts of the past will tend to appear less when you have saturated your environment with events and items that point to your new status.

Ghosts of the past tend to show up more often at a critical stage of your forward move. Taking the right steps to deal with such ghosts during life transitions will ensure that your forward move towards your new way of life is sustained. Ridding yourself of such ghosts will help towards your personal growth and success in your newly acquired status.

Author's Bio: 

Tolu Adeleye, Ph.D. is a life transition expert. Through her company – Contemporary Lifestyle Consulting Inc., she provides resources for managing life transitions and career-related changes. For more tools for navigating through college transition, marriage, new parenting, divorce, midlife explorations, career change, empty nesting, relocation, and retirement, visit

Additional Resources covering Life Transitions can be found at:

Website Directory for Life Transitions
Articles on Life Transitions
Products for Life Transitions
Discussion Board
Dr. Tolu Adeleye, the Official Guide to Life Transitions