How To Deal With Change: Prepare yourself and learn from it.
Change is something that we all experience in some form or another, and we all respond to it differently. Personally, at times I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious and rebellious when faced with change. I think those are natural reactions to a sense of loss or uncertainty.
I’ve had to learn to accept and embrace change. I think it’s a skill worth developing because change is part of the natural order of things. We change as we get older and the people around us change too. Even our environment changes over time.
My tips for thinking about change are to:
Be aware of how you feel about changes.
Realise that change is inevitable, it’s not a bad thing. Try and embrace the fact that change is something that will happen and adapt accordingly. Take some time to get used to it before making decisions.
Begin thinking about changes in your life.
For example, start writing down changes you want to make whether it’s things like: new job, moving, relationships or exercise. A little preparation before the change helps you make decisions that are more informed and also helps cement your intentions in your mind so they’re easier to keep track of.
Make sure that you have all the info you need when making decisions.
More info = fewer mistakes. For example, go out and get the phone number of the company you’re thinking of applying to, read up on what it’s like to work there, call or go in and ask some questions. This way you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s really for you.
Be patient with yourself.
It takes time to adjust to change in your life and sometimes things just don’t feel right no matter how hard you try. Take time to process whatever negative feelings you might be experiencing.
Try and learn from the changes in your life.
Sometimes we learn by making mistakes, if you’re finding things especially tough, try to figure out what’s preventing you from moving forward. It might be a lack of support or you’re not taking the steps you need to take to make things better.
For example, I once got an offer for a job and I was VERY excited. However, I didn’t know what was involved in this job or if I would be good at it. My anxiety and fear of change caused me to put off making the decision about whether or not to accept it. This made me more anxious and stressed about making the decision. It turned into a vicious circle.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know how others will react to change, so be prepared for all outcomes. By preparing yourself you will be better equipped to deal with events when they occur. If you have a plan and have prepared yourself well, you are more likely to respond well and make the best decisions possible under the circumstances.
Change can be positive or negative and you must be open to both options.
Be sure that you are prepared for both scenarios. This means that if change is something negative, prepare yourself to deal with the problem effectively. If change is positive then prepare yourself to look at the pros and cons of any situation that may arise.
Surround yourself with people who can help you deal with change.
Although it’s important to be independent, it’s also important to have good support around you when dealing with any kind of major life event.
People tend to change because of changes in their environment.
For example: if you move to a new place things might change such as getting a new job, going to college, getting married etc. Here are some ways that other people will change too:
- Social changes : e.g. friends, family, relationships and social life will be affected by the move.
- Career changes : e.g. you might get a different job, change jobs, be promoted, have more or less work etc.
- Living environment changes : e.g. becoming a parent, getting married or buying a house are all massive changes to your living environment and therefore there will be many changes that happen in your life due to these circumstances.
- Financial changes : e.g. getting a new job, buying a house or having a baby will all lead to plenty of financial changes that will happen in your life.
Whether you’re going through any kind of major change in your life, be open to the fact that things might not always work out as planned and you just have to accept it. Sometimes change is difficult, but the best thing we can do is learn to cope.
The following is a useful, simple and quick exercise that you can do to change your way of thinking about change.
Find 4 pieces of paper and write down different life events on each one (for example: moving house, getting married etc.). Now place these pieces of paper into a hat. Then choose a piece from the hat and think about how you will handle that event. If it’s something positive, think about how you expect things will turn out well. If it’s a negative situation, think about how you expect things to turn out. Then place the chosen piece of paper back into the hat and choose another event to think about. This exercise can be used to deal with all kinds of change, including any that you might have in your life such as moving house or getting engaged. It will help you deal with change by making use of your imagination and make yourself more aware of what is likely to happen when things do change.
So where does that leave us?
I now live in a world where I’m aware of the changes happening to me and around me, wherever they lead. I’ve learned that change is inevitable, even good change which can bring opportunity and growth. It’s not always exciting, especially when it feels like a loss of control or the end of something you love. But ultimately it’s speeding up my learning process and has helped make me adaptable to new situations. It’s made life more interesting too, full of new possibilities that weren’t there before. And I’m better for it.