One of the reoccurring themes in our work is change. Change is an almost unavoidable part of life. We all suffer separation and loss at some point. We change our relationships, our work, our address. The state of our health can change, sometimes quite suddenly. Many of these changes appear to happen outside of our control. Each of the more major changes tend to bring more changes with it, every little one adding to the unsettling feeling.
One of the most useful ways I find to look at things is “Who or what is in control of the effects of this change now”? Examining not who or what is in control of the change itself, but what is controlling the underlying results, the outcome of the change. The object is to be in charge of the actual effects that the change is having. You may not be responsible for the change that is taking place, but it is always up to you to take (or not take) responsibility for how any change ends up affecting you.
There are often ways to minimise any negative effects of change, you just need to step out of the situation so to speak, and ask yourself a few questions. What do you stand to lose- really because of this change. Much of our reaction to change is based on insecurity or fear of the unknown. It is often easier for us to not change. So it can feel like the change is taking something away from us, when what we are really experiencing is a loss in our sense of security.
What do you stand to gain from this change? There are people who are conditioned to automatically look at any change as being all negative. Their first, and sometimes only reaction to change is that it is bad, and there is absolutely nothing to be gained from it. Not a very healthy, practical or intelligent way to look at it. Some people have different programmes running, they have a more optimistic and positive frame of mind, and are ready to make the best of any change. If you were to make an honest list, right now, of all the possible gains that you can create from any change that is happening in your life, how long would your list be? Finding the positive in even the most difficult changes can give positive results.
Don’t resist change even if your initial reaction is to refuse and or strop! Learn to accept, change is inevitable. It will be much easier transition if you go with the flow. In fact jumping straight in and embracing the change will help you acclimatise more quickly, and the more familiar things become the better you will feel.
Making lists is often quite helpful. You feel much better about change when you can manage some aspects of it and organise some of the details. The more prepared you are the more comfortable you feel.
Try and focus on one thing at a time, we can learn to manage change, but not if it feels overwhelming.If the major change is at work, don’t start a big project in the garden. Managing change in one area of your life is much easier when you have other things that stay comfortable and calming.
Be patient with yourself, accept that when things change you can’t be expected to manage it all straight away. Keep asking yourself productive questions, how can you help the transition, don’t ask Why’s just How’s.
Try and remember change rarely affects just one person, consider those around you. Often banding together with others in a similar situation can be very supportive.
Change is stressful because it takes away any feeling of control, don’t let feelings of powerlessness get you. Face any challenges head on, looking at how you can make it work for you. You will feel empowered by your renewed sense of control when you stop allowing change to overwhelm you. Overcome change through focus, hard work and determination
Managing change well, with confidence is entirely possible.