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'Change' and how to handle it!

MANAGING CHANGE

Every day we wake up to a different day, we get up and fall quickly into our personal routine. Routine is safe, we can predict what the outcome will be but what happens when:

· the phone rings and someone needs a lift or is sick,
· what if someone knocks at the door,
· if you go out to the car and your tyre is flat or
· your puppy has gotten out,

These are all minor changes in our daily routine but we deal with them by doing what we have to do and getting on with our daily habits. Everyday we put on different clothes, style our hair slightly differently, eat different food for our meals so why is critical or major changes so hard to sustain.

Change that we control is easy to facilitate but change that we don’t control is the reason, I believe, that we fight, fly or freeze in resistance to change.

2020/2021 years have been the greatest time for change for many of us so why have we struggled to adapt to the environment?

For example, we were in a pandemic and our internal lifestyle has changed, we were being told to:
· stay inside,
· wear masks,
· get an injection
· don’t see friends
· only go shopping, exercise etc

Then as a further repercussion our external lives were effected by:
· businesses having to reforecast their budgets,
· which in turn sees job losses,
· instability,
· uncertainty of the future,

Which all leads to stress, anger and denial.

Why then is the first part of this story so easy to accept and deal with, but the second scenario is so difficult to manage?

Any suggestions?….type your comments in the chat and let’s get some opinions raised.

In my opinion the difference is the control and how our destiny has been defined by other parties.

For every person, there are some critical changes in life that we all generally experience that can be particularly stressful phases.

Some of the most commonly encountered major changes in life are:
· Being brought out of the comfort of the womb
· the onset of puberty,
· graduation from school,
· buying a major asset such as a car or a house,
· Interstate or overseas travel,
· Change in career
· marriage,
· the birth of a child,
· death. Etc…..

These events are signifiers of change and often bring about a lot of stress and worry about what the future holds – the unknown, the mystery.

But by learning how to change your perspective and deal with these major changes in life in a positive way, you can start to shift your experience and turn these events into times of happiness and joy, learning and growth.

Change is letting go of the ‘what no longer serves us’, mundane or boring, and learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, feeling uncertain can be devastating in some cases, the fear of the unknown or predictable can be immobilising and you can feel scared, alone, useless and unloved. On the positive, you will grow and experience new and exciting things.

People resist change because they believe they will lose something of value or fear they will not be able to adapt to the new ways. ... It's a significant change to their daily routine, their expected, which is deeply emotional because it threatens their level of safety and security.

Greek Philosopher – Heraclitus quoted “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”
He also said “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man”.

Every day, people change because they have new experiences which shape them. So, you cannot step into the same river twice. People also encounter new people who influence them, and change their lives or motivate them to try or do something differently.

A few explanations of why change is hard:
· Staying within your comfort zone or familiar situations.
o When you choose to stay in your comfort zone, you participate in familiar activities. You perform tasks you've completed repeatedly, and likely with a track record of success. Staying in your comfort zone allows you to draw on experience you've gained from past performances, in areas you undoubtedly know well. (autopilot)
· Repeating Habits
o Habits are well learned and they persist from mindlessness. Habitual behaviour is a form of automatic and routine behaviour. It is behaviour that people repeat, because this behaviour is easy, comfortable or rewarding.
· When change gets hard, do you quit? (new years resolutions)
· Change can be painful. (avoiding pain is easier)
o To change we must literally make ourselves less comfortable in order to move towards the new thing – and this insecurity agitates that part of our primitive mind that's shouting 'Stay Safe, Stay Safe! ' This agitation is what we feel as painful.

HOW TO MANAGE CHANGE

1. Think things through and ask, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’
We're often scared of change because we’re afraid of the unknown. And a good way to deal with the unknown is to think things through carefully. Imagine all of the different possible outcomes, and then decide what would be your best- and worst-case scenarios.

2. Ask yourself “how much do I actually control in this situation?”
When a big change occurs, it’s important to figure out how much control over the situation you really have. Understanding your role and how much you can change can help you put things in perspective.

3. Accept and rewrite the script
If the unwanted change is beyond your control, try taking a reflective approach. Accepting that there are things beyond your control, and choosing to be comfortable with that fact, is likely to bring greater peace of mind than waging an unwinnable war. View change as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a setback, even if you have to fake it ‘til you make it!

4. Celebrate the positives
Even though it can be a tough ask, focusing on the positives can really help you manage change. While the positive aspects of a situation might not be obvious to begin with, it’s worth seeking them out – no matter how small they might be.

5. Take action
If the unwanted change is within your control, take an active approach to dealing with it. Focusing on the problem at hand, developing a plan of action, and asking for advice are useful active strategies.

6. Manage your stress
Improving your ability to handle stress will go a long way to helping you deal with change. Try practising mindfulness or meditation, or engaging in other relaxation techniques.

7. Seek support
It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed if the change you’re facing is really big, or there’s too much change happening all at once. This is when it might be best to seek support. Consider asking friends or family for help or emotional support. Even a phone/video call or chatting online can help you feel connected to your loved ones.

Embrace change one step at a time:
When you’re finding your way in a new phase of life, you don’t have to feel comfortable with everything immediately. If everything seems a bit much, break it down. ‘Celebrate little victories. Set a small goal. You don’t have to be good at everything straight away.

Give yourself time:
Don’t put up unreachable targets in your path, make your progress timely and without added pressure. You will reach the end and it can be eventually.

WHAT DOES CHANGE BRING INTO YOUR LIFE.

Learn to Deal with Adversity:
When you embrace and accept change, you learn an important skill to achieving greatness and success. Dealing with adversity is important no matter what you choose to do with your life. Wherever you choose to go, adversity will rear its head.

Overcoming Challenges:
Overcoming obstacles and challenges that life throws at you is the way you develop inner strength and grow within. Challenges should be looked at as new opportunities and places to learn and develop wisdom, rather than a place to turn around and quit.

Self-Esteem and Confidence:
When you go through change, overcome obstacles, and deal with adversity, you’re building up your sense of confidence. Understanding and learning from challenges and changes build the strength in your mind and allows you to feel more comfortable the next time you’re in similar situations. After overcoming something that was seemingly impossible, you’ll realize how strong you truly are and how prepared you are for change and different situations. This is the way that you develop trust within and develop the self-esteem you need to believe in yourself.

Promotes Personal Growth:
Change is a necessary aspect of personal growth and is the best way to learn about yourself in so many different ways. Personal growth is the most important benefit that results from change in one’s daily life. When you go through an uncertain obstacle or change in life that challenges your mind and emotions, you learn the different ways that you react both positively and negatively. If you choose to embrace the change as a learning opportunity, you’ll find that you’re able to develop from within in so many different ways.

Become More Flexible and Adaptable to New Situations:
Change teaches you to adopt a new perspective on the world around you. When your surroundings are constantly changing and obstacles arise along the way, you can choose to be resentful and fight it, or accept and embrace it. When you accept change, you’re realizing the importance of being flexible and going with the flow. It’s much easier to go with the current rather than try to fight it and control it.

New Opportunities:
One of the most important ways that change benefits any individual is that it brings about new opportunities if you choose to look for them. When you stay trapped in your comfort zone, you’ll always wonder what else is out there but will be too hesitant to look. Stepping out and doing things that may scare you or be full of change can provide so many new opportunities that you never could have predicted. When you embrace change and look to it for new opportunities, you’ll find yourself much more satisfied with life and with many more options.

Change is Progress:
Change ensures that you’re making progress and moving forward in life. You’ll look back on your life and notice that change can bring about new chapters that provide you with more knowledge and experience along the way. Change means that you’re growing.

Ground Hog Day:
Waking up at the same time each day, doing the same job, and following the same specific routine can get boring after a long period of time. Although we all end up stuck in our ways and it’s important to have structure in life, sometimes change can be very beneficial to our emotional and mental well-being. Once you’re able to look past the stress and fear of uncertainty, you’ll be able to embrace the change that lies in front of you and allow it to keep your mind challenged and active. Change can also take you out of repetitive negative thought patterns or different aspects of stress that may be causing you to be hesitant throughout life.

Change Reveals Your Strengths:
Changing aspects of your everyday life or going through an event that alters some part of it can help you discover strengths within you that you never knew you had. Sometimes change can put you under large amounts of unexpected stress and pressure, and you may find that you’re surprisingly good at handling these emotions when you’re forced to. You may discover that you’re more emotionally stable than you believed and that you’re prepared for life’s challenges. You may also find that you’re more patient, accepting, and flexible than you thought. When you discover hidden strengths, your self-confidence and self-esteem will improve.

Provides New Life Experiences:
Change provides you with tons of memories and experiences that you’d never have expected. It transforms your perspective on the world around you and allows you to learn so much about yourself. These experiences are essential to success and moving forward in life. Rather than dreading change and trying to avoid it, it’s important to look at change in a positive light and observe the new memories you’re making.

Teaches You to Deal with Fear:
Going through change that’s uncertain, especially when it’s unexpected, can be very scary and overwhelming. Without knowing the outcome of change, you’ll inevitably feel anxious and unsettled. We’re programmed to resist things that are unfamiliar and uncertain to us, which makes us create stories in our heads of what could go wrong through change. When you’re able to change your mentality towards change and let go of the fear that surrounds it, you’ll find yourself braver and stronger than ever.

Forces You out of Your Comfort Zone:
Without change, it’s easy to stay in your routine and stick with what’s comfortable to you, but you’ll never advance or move forward without taking a risk. Even if the outcome is uncertain and there’s a possibility of failure, stepping out of your comfort zone and at least taking a chance improves your personal growth and allows you to learn so much.

Final Thoughts:
You’ll never feel satisfied and at peace with your life if you’re on a mission to resist and control change that’s inevitable in life. Situations will occur that are out of your control and you’ll ultimately be forced to step out of your comfort zone in order to advance. Fearing change is unavoidable, but learning to accept and embrace change will have incredibly positive impacts on your life.

“Don’t let the fear of what could happen make nothing happen.” — Doe Zantamata
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