A man loses his job. A woman discovers her boyfriend was cheating on her. Another person discovered he has cancer at 49. We don't like change. In fact, just thinking about the possibility of change gives some people the chills. No matter what, change makes us feel miserable and if we could high-tail from it, we would and frequently do. We are creatures of habit and feeling a sense of security is normal and when we are knocked on our butts with horrible news--we take a dive into a foreign land. How we climb out of it will be our power to adapt to this unknown entity. If you experienced a loss, a move to another city or a switch in leadership at work, you may feel you're in a vortex of disorder. Like the seasons we need to keep moving and letting go of the past, shed our leaves and get through the chill of winter. We need to keep walking ahead even though they may be in circles at times. If change is pounding at your front door, here are 6 tips on how to respond.
Change can bring all kinds of emotions up and dread is one of them. You need to come to a place of acceptance once the shock of the event wears off and face it head-on. Life keeps moving and we are either going with it or we will be defeated. What separates those being skilled at adapting to an evolving world compared to those sinking into an emotional abyss? Those who don't duck and cover are the ones who win the race in life. You must accept the situation that you are in and if you have no control over it, it was the universe's fault. Approach change as a process and be ready to move at your own pace. Accepting something out of our control can feel like a blade digging into your emotions, so go easy on yourself.
Face Your Fears
Fear can paralyze you from making progress and from growing. It may be fear of leaving a company for another one or finding a better mate. Start journaling and writing about your fears of what was lost or whatever change is impacting you. Sometimes we can get to the root when we can see it in front of us. Sometimes we need to step back in order to move forward. Author Carol Roth suggested visualizing yourself jumping across a creek. "You can’t just jump standing from where you are. You have to physically move backward in order to give yourself the momentum needed to run and take that leap forward." Facing your fears may seem like backtracking, but you're actually making progress, despite what you may be feeling.
Change Your Perspective
You can think of change as being medicine, which tastes gross but has a good result. As much as change can be painful, it also makes you grow. Change can help usher in new business associates, friends, hobbies and new ideas. It can come in other forms as well. Let’s just say that you are adapting to a new town, it may take awhile to feel comfortable, but along the way, you can be your future spouse, a new friend or even be inspired to start your own business. Be on the lookout for good changes, and become more open to the unexpected gems that await you. If it takes more time to see the benefits, remain faithful and motivated to see the positives that come from reconstructing your outlook.
You can really learn from other people on how they survived change and transition. They can see it more objectively than you can, and take solace in the fact that you are not alone; someone has and is going through the same situation. Admitting that we need help is hard, but you will be surprised how positive people respond. Life coach and author Tony Robbins said the secret of success is learning how to accept pain and joy "Instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you." Find support from others, there are more people that are willing to help you than you probably realize. Let's face it, you can't do it on your own.
Sometimes when life hits and you land face-down, you can really hate yourself. You may hate yourself for not being more kind, responsive or doing the best job at the time. Here is the thing, we are human and really stink at life. Okay? You can make yourself feel like crud, but this will allow life to feel even more pessimistic. Self-hatred manifests in all kinds of unhealthy behaviors like isolation, bulimia and addiction. You can say, “This self-doubt stops today,” and understand that you don't need to internalize the pain of change. List the things that you accomplished in the past and all of your positive characteristics. Go over this until you're assured.
Allow it to Make You Stronger
The strength you build up now will help in the future. They say that suffering makes you stronger, well, so does the evolution of change. No one can live in a box in life, and you can't be protected from everything. It's like those mothers who never let their kids go out or play because they fear they will get hurt or catch some germ. Eventually, those kids who were sheltered can't adapt to change because they never experienced it. Because they were never exposed to socialization, they can't cope with life. Those of us who experienced life, challenges and change can handle it much better. Today pray that God will give you the insight into this transition and to make you stronger. Start looking into Proverbs 4:5 to anchor you. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
We all feel uncomfortable with change. The change of seasons, the change in dress sizes, heck even good changes throw us off. Allow change to be loving teachers to help you master and to help you become a better human being. When we try to fight change, it only leads to more ambiguity and allows the opaque clouds to linger longer and who fancies that?