Who likes change?
As humans we aren’t as keen on change as we would like ourselves to believe. Even though change is one of the most natural things in the world we naturally struggle with it. Strange.
Whether it’s due to the lack of control, the fear of the unknown, past experiences, not wanting to risk losing a current comfort or for some other reason, on a whole we struggle with accepting too much change into our lives.
Yet with the current situation we have all had to find a way to adapt to a change that we never saw coming.
How have you coped?
Have you managed to adapt?
Are you still struggling?
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future” – John F Kennedy
Change is inevitable in every area of our lives. Our bodies constantly change as we age, we change jobs, move houses, alter our relationship status; even in situations that we keep routinely we will have changes even if we try to keep it the same.
The thing is change allows progress. If we just stay as we are, where we are, with no room for movement, we will never grow, never experience something greater.
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” —Jim Rohn
So you’re comfortable, you’re fine with how things are, maybe you’re even happy with your current situation. Contentment is not a bad thing, it is nice to feel secure and satisfied however, if we aren’t open to change, if we aren’t prepared to allow ourselves modification or transformation then how will we cope when the choice of change is taken away from us?
What if you are fine in the job you’re in? You might not be fulfilled but it pays the bills so you have no desire to change it, you’ve just been called into the office and…. you’ve been let go. What now?
What if you are settled in your relationship? You wouldn’t exactly say you are happy but you’re not unhappy and you know things could be worse so you have no lust to move on and find another, potentially better, relationship; as there’s no guaranteeing you would find anything better anyway. You’ve just come home and… your partners bags are packed, they are leaving you. What now?
You go to the same holiday destination each year, you love it. It brings back so many good memories and you worry that if you went anywhere else you wouldn’t have as good a time and it would be a waste of your only time off. You go to book your next trip and prices have gone up; flights, accommodation, everything you usually pay for has increased and is now out of your price range. What now?
You may suddenly be told to stay in your house because there is a global pandemic and your normal daily routine has to immediately alter. What now?
Some things are out of your control. So even if you are not actively creating change yourself you can not guarantee change won’t be placed in your lap to deal with.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” —Lao Tzu
So how do we learn to deal with change?
It is not a simple “just deal with it” answer as different forms of change will effect each individual differently. However there are a few things you can implement and over time you should have a better ability to cope with change.
- Mix things up – even simple things like getting up out of the opposite side of the bed, switching your morning coffee for a green tea, taking a different route to work, trying a new class at the gym, opting for a different takeaway than usual… will make a difference. Our brain should be in control of our bodies yet due to our ritualised habits we allow our bodies to run on autopilot and our brain just goes into memory mode so when something disrupts our learnt pattern we usually have an instinctive negative reaction that can effect our mood for ages afterwards. Whereas if we choose ourselves to make change on a regular basis, even with the smallest most insignificant things, we allow our brain to lead the way again; we open ourselves up to learn new ways of doing things and therefor will be better equipped at dealing with change when it is thrust upon us.
- Be aware of your mindset – mindset holds great power. It is through our mindset that we control the effect change can have upon us. If your mindset is closed then you are likely to react badly to change. Also if your mindset is negative to begin with then you won’t be able to have a positive reaction; especially if your mindset is self-limiting. If you put yourself down, or don’t believe you are capable then the fear of change will always control you. Working on your mindset, developing the skills to free yourself from unfavorable thoughts will enable you to tackle change head on.
- Forgive past regrets – if you hold on to changes made in your past that didn’t quite have a happy ending you will struggle to move forward with change. I am a firm believer that there are lessons to be learnt from everything we do, experience and witness. So see your past challenges as education, they are teachings to help you grow. Forgive your past and let go of regret.
- Do things that scare you – Get out of your comfortzone by not just mixing up your day to day routine but by every now and then (or as often as you are willing) do something that scares you a little. I’m not talking about something that terrifies you; not all of us are adrenaline seekers that could handle jumping out of a plane or something to that effect, however whether its asking that guy out for a drink, applying to your dream job or even going skinny dipping… do things to keep your heart pumping and your brain excited.
- Make a change – Finally if something isnt serving you learn to make a change; and I am talking about things more than changing the hand you use to brush your teeth in a morning. To make a big change is scary, it is anxiety inducing but if something isn’t serving you then change it. Don’t hold onto things out of fear, comfort or excuses; friendship, relationships, jobs… whatever it is learn to let go and move on. These things could be taken from you or change themselves at any given moment, so be the one to initiate the change to begin with.
- Find your de-stress tool – I would also recommend finding something that helps you with stress, something that focuses your mind and provides you with a healthy outlet. It could be exercise, art, meditation, axe throwing (in a safe environment that is), sport, writing, cleaning, singing at the top of your lungs… something that will help you de-stress once change has been made.
If you do these things more often in your life you will develop a thicker skin when change is made. It won’t solve all of your problems, it won’t cure you of your fear but it might aid in coping with things slightly better.
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” — Graham Brown
Change has been thrust upon us in the form of isolation.
Don’t fight it.
Adapt. Learn. Grow.
In change is where we learn to live.