Change.

Do you struggle with change? Are you aware of your own reactions to changes? Do you resist change?

Sound familiar?

What is it that makes us resist change? Often fear of the unknown, feeling overwhelmed or denial that change needs to happen or a lack of trust of those bringing about the change.

Change brings about different reactions within us and even irrational behaviour. Therefore a common first instinct is to resist the change.

How can we deal with change?

When change happens, it is useful to reflect on our inner resistance to change. If we have a deeper understanding of ourselves, it will help us understand how our inner resistances work and how we generally react to different situations. By learning more about ourselves and our reactions we can adapt to different situations and learn to cope with them.

A strong sense of self-awareness will help you to take personal reasonability and stay more in control. It is up to you how you chose to react to each situation. Learning how to manage change more effectively will help you to be better equipped and more positive when it change happens to you.

Positive ways to make changes

  1. Embrace Change

Change often only happens when we want it too. If you procrastinate, you will be putting of inevitable. The danger is we may be wasting precious time in our lives being unhappy when we could turn it all around by embracing change.

  1. Be open-minded

Your mind works best when it is open. As Frank Zappa says ‘Your mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work, if it isn’t open’. Sometimes we can drag the baggage of the past and superimpose it on to situations without being open-minded and taking a fresh perspective. One thing I hear from clients who resist change is ‘Well we tried that before and it didn’t work’ You need to remember every situation is different, and just because something different work last time, it does not mean it will not work next time. Give it another go with an open mind without the expectation that it will fail.

  1. Prepare your emotions

Accept the fact that you may be emotional during the change process. Change may make you feel unhappy, fearful, insecure, unsettled, frustrated. On the other side of the table, however, you may feel enthusiastic, elated, delighted and excited. Any of those emotions will have an impact on your energy levels so it is really important to prepare yourself.

  1. Relax and go with the flow

Sometimes change happens and we have absolutely no control over it whatsoever. When this happens you have to choose how you are going to respond. If you resist change and remain rigid and inflexible it will be a lot more difficult and even painful. Going with the flow sometimes is the best approach.

  1. Be positive

Having a positive attitude about change is the right mindset to cultivate. If we go into the change situation believing that it is negative then we are more likely to experience negative outcomes. Whilst it is important to understand some of the risks and pitfalls involved it is also important to focus on positive outcomes.

  1. Keep some familiarity in your life.

Understandably changing everything sends people into panic as it threatens to destabilise their world. If you are embarking on a major change, then keep up as many familiar things that feel comfortable to you. This will help remind you that there are things in your life that do not need changing, and how much is in your life that isn’t changing. For example, sticking to same routine or seeing friends you normally see. You can then reassure yourself that not everything has to change just because some things have.

  1. Challenge your perspective

Sometimes the way we view a situation can be very narrow because we are perceiving it through our own filter, and will perhaps benchmark it against our previous experiences. It is important to really examine and look at the situation from all angles. Be careful not to get yourself stuck up a one-way street with your thinking. There is always another angle and another perspective.

 

As a summary when thinking about change:

  • Understand why the change in your life is happening
  • Actively seek out the opportunities this will bring
  • Be positive and open minded
  • Understand your emotions around change
  • Take responsibility for your reactions and choices.

 

Do you resist change? Will any of the above tips will help you to adapt to change?

Embrace change or resist it?
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Hazel Hill is a BACP Accredited counsellor and supervisor with over 20 years experience. She provides face to face counselling, as well as walk talk therapy in Sheffield to individual and couples. She also provides online counselling for aid workers and road traffic trauma. Hazel, as a qualified supervisor, also helps trainee counsellors, and supervisees applying for Accreditation. You can ring her on 07814 363855 to book an appointment now.

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