How can we positivity embrace change and make the best of the process?
Changes in our lives are certainly inevitable; whether it is getting married, having children, moving homes, changing careers, getting older, a health situation or an economic situation. Some changes are perceived as positive and others are perceived as negative. However, the bottom line is that for most of us, the mere idea of change makes us feel stressed and uncomfortable.
In my office, clients often report feeling anxious and frightened and don’t know how to prepare, accept or deal with the changes needed in their lives. From psychology perspective, this is a very normal reactions! It has been proven in research that the concept of change usually triggers a sense of loss of control and uncertainty- basically fear. This, therefore, will trigger the primal response to stress of fight or flight which subsequently may lead to some unnecessary and unhealthy reactions and decisions as we avoid dealing with the inevitable.
Why do some people resist change?
1. Even positive changes, move us into new and unknown territory and it is easier, though not as exciting, to stay within our comfort zone
2. A perceived loss of control of the situation which threatens our sense of autonomy and may trigger feelings of unease and malaise.
3. A belief that the change may be painful
4. Concern that we are not ready for the change or that we do not have ability to deal with it or competently hand it- lack of belief in self.
5. Sometimes people just simply don’t want the change! They may feel frustrated and angry that they are forced to deal with a change they didn’t desire or “sign up for.”
Understandable… so how can we positively embrace change and make the best of the process? First of all, we need to remind ourselves from past experience that after the process of change, usually positive outcomes are yielded. Also, embrace change! I often recommend to my clients that when there is a “pink elephant” in the room- jump on it, take control and deal with the situation directly. Change is necessary for growth and renewal: imagine our lives without any change. So, let’s find ways to embrace it and not fear or avoid it.
1. Control the change rather than have it control you! Take charge- you can control how you react to the changes in front of you and you can deliberately and intentionally steer the process. As the old saying goes, “be part of the solution instead of the problem.” This will provide you with a sense of direction and will ease feelings of discomfort
2. Be positive- remind yourself of the possible positive outcomes of the change in front of you, which sometimes may be challenging when dealing with difficult or sad changes…but, again if it is happening with or without cooperation, then positively embrace the situation and develop strategies to make that happen.