I’m not talking about THE change, I’m talking about changes that occur in our life like a change in job function, change in health, or a change in a routine.
In a listing of the 41 major life stressors from Health24, 14 of them involve change!
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C. S. Lewis
- Change in health of family member
- Change in financial state
- Change in frequency of arguments
- Change in responsibilities at work
- Change in living conditions
- Change in working hours or conditions
- Change in residence
- Change in schools
- Change in recreation
- Change in church activities
- Change in social activities
- Change in sleeping habits
- Change in number of family reunions
- Change in eating habits
Some of these examples are truly stressful – moving for example can be very stressful. However, change, like taxes, is inevitable, so how can we approach change with a positive attitude?
First – let’s look at how we talk about change:
We DEAL with change.
We COPE with change.
We HANDLE change.
We ENDURE change.
Put like that, you are already setting yourself up for disappointment, anxiety and stress. So let’s not DEAL with stress…let’s EMBRACE IT.
Embrace – like a hug from a dear friend, change can be just that, a new experience, a new opportunity that may lead to amazing new adventures.
Like the mice in Who Moved my Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson, we can huddle in the corner and moan over the fact that our cheese is gone or we can venture out in search of new cheese.
Here are a few tips from several articles that offer great advice for EMBRACING the change in your life:
Calvin Sun offers 10 Tips, the first of which is obvious but is often ignored…Change Happens
Denying that change is or will be occurring, and continuing to live in the past only makes things more difficult.
When I teach classes on customer service, I emphasize the importance of setting and managing the expectations of the customer. That principle applies to us personally as well. The more we understand that change will happen, the less upset and surprised we will be when we encounter that change.
Fran Bozarth has five great ways to be positive about change. Here is just one of them:
See this as an opportunity. Think about it – change may be uncomfortable, but on the other hand, it also changes the parameters in which we operate. You have been given an opportunity for growth!
Ann Potts offers 3 Important Tips, one of which is to be patient. We are naturally going to resist change and should expect that to be the case. Don’t berate yourself for not acclimating immediately. Depending on what the change may be – it may take time to process.
Be patient – The external world of our lives can change in a moment’s notice, but our internal world requires more time to reorient to the change. We cannot rush the inner process that must adjust to the external changes of our life.
I love the approach Terri Babers has when it comes to dealing with change:
Adopt an attitude of anticipation, and be grateful. Welcome change as an opportunity. Find the benefit somewhere in the change. There is always a benefit and an opportunity. Start by keeping a written record for 3 days. Every day, note 3 things, large or small, that you are grateful for. You will notice a more powerful attitude of anticipation growing (hey! that might be a nice change!).
Once we have acknowledged the change, come to grips with our feelings and have begun to embrace the idea of the change it is time to fly!
Martha Beck, columnist with the Oprah Magazine offers a great feature article on how to Deal with Life’s Changes. She ends her article with this advice:
Enjoy! You’ve just negotiated a scary and dramatic transformation, and you deserve to savor your new identity. Spend time every day focusing on gratitude for your success.
Make Small Improvements. Find little ways to make your new life a bit less stressful, a bit more pleasurable.
Know That Another Change is Just Around the Bend. There’s no way to predict how long you’ll stay in Phase 4; maybe days, maybe decades. Don’t attribute your happiness to your new identity; security lies in knowing how to deal with metamorphosis, whenever it occurs.
Change is going to happen in our lives and so it is all a matter of how we approach the differences. Will we COPE or EMBRACE? DEAL or WELCOME?
I hope you are able to be grateful for the new opportunities and embrace the changes that come your way!