Do you love change? Do you hate it? Or are you ambivalent about it? Here’s the thing: Whatever your feelings about change, it happens to us all. It is an inevitable part of life.
And even those who say they love change, will at some point or another, find it difficult to deal with certain changes that come their way.
To a large extent, how change affects us is down to how we react to it; in other words our attitude. Being open to and accepting of change puts us in a better place, than being angry or fearful.
It’s important to appreciate that change involves a process, during which we are likely to experience a range of emotions. We may feel angry, scared, anxious, confused or upset. These emotions can be unsettling and they reflect the nature of change as something which involves a period of unfamiliarity and uncertainty.
We can look at change like this: we may start in a place where we feel comfortable and over time will likely reach another place where we feel equally comfortable, but the ‘transition period’ in between often feels stressful and chaotic.
This stress and chaos can so easily keep us within our comfort zone and stop us from making positive changes in our lives. Our fears about what may or may not happen to us and our worries about, for example, being judged by others, can lead us to resist change. And while not all change is welcome, resisting it can leave us worse off than if we’d approached it more openly.
So, how can we best approach change?
Firstly, we can learn to anticipate change, rather than feeling surprised by it. We can recognise that change is occurring, and instead of resisting it, seek to confront our feelings about it. This may involve asking for support from a partner, friend or counsellor. Having the opportunity to talk about our feelings and worries about change can help us to manage our emotions and understand how they might be affecting our attitude and holding us back.
While there are lots of things we can’t control, we can control our attitude. And by learning to approach change in a more open and proactive manner we can reduce the stress associated with it.
Approaching change in a calm and controlled manner can enable us to assess our options, seek out support, develop awareness about what’s holding us back and proactively choose the best way forward, enabling us to navigate the uncertainty of change more smoothly. Thus, rather than being fearful of change, we feel empowered, determined and more able to adapt and handle change with greater confidence and ease.
Being able to embrace and adapt to change is a valuable life skill to have. It can help us to make positive changes, attract new opportunities and fully realise our potential, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life.
Kirsty is at Springbank Clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays, offering both daytime and evening appointments. She is always happy to meet with new clients. To book an appointment or to find out more, please call the clinic on 01732 453 956 or visit www.kirstywood.com