Well, we all know that saying, “Change is good” or “Without change, life would become stagnant.” So why are so many afraid of change. And why do so many embrace it? Have you ever noticed that those who embrace change and even create change are the ones that seem the most satisfied and successful in their lives as a whole? (Family, work, health, etc.) They seem to find a balance easier. Why is that? Let’s examine change first, then why people fear it and then have a little look at why I think change is a good thing and can lead to having a successful life. And I don’t mean the amount of zeros on the end of your paycheck or the amount of money in your bank account. I mean being a successful spouse, parent, worker, friend, and so on.
Change, according to my 1993 Webster’s Dictionary (man, I love this thing!) is defined as – To become or make different; to alter; to put with another; to use to take the place of another; to freshen a bed by putting by putting clean coverings on it. (LOL!)
We change our hair, we change our clothes, we change our tires, and we change our lives every single day. It’s a choice we have. But those little changes are the easy ones; generally speaking. It’s the big changes that we tend to fear. Like when we change our marital status, becoming parents, living with people, our jobs, our homes, change cities, returning to school and any other big change we can think of. It’s a little scary to make that transition. Perhaps because of uncertainty of what may lie ahead. Fear of the unknown.
Here are some more reasons that people fear change:
- Loss of control. We sometimes feel as though we have lost our bearings when we have a big change in our lifestyle. After all, change interferes with autonomy so some feel like without that tempo that they have created, without that regularity and schedule, they have lost a little bit of control and will have to either leave it to “fate” or work hard at adjusting to the change and regain their control by setting up a whole new schedule or even lifestyle
- Admitting that the way things were before was not working. In a divorce situation or losing your job or home, well, it wasn’t quite working for you. So you made that change or were surprised with your layoff or divorce papers, whatever the situation, your life has to change. And it may seem like you are losing a little bit of face when these types of situations arise.
- Concerns of being competent enough. Let’s say you were promoted, at first you get so excited and your friends and family are so proud of you. Then the high wears off and as you lay in bed you think to yourself, “Hey. Can I do this? What if I fail? What if I suck as a supervisor? What if nobody takes direction from me?” That can be pretty scary.
I could go on and on with examples of why people fear change. But now that we are clear on what change is and why people are apprehensive with change, let’s examine how to combat negative feelings towards change and how to be more prepared for it, even if you don’t have a choice. Just being aware of a few things can help you understand what’s happening and map out a path that is going to work and make you more confident.
- Identify the change clearly. Find out everything you can about it. Research what people do during that life change. How do people handle promotions? How do people cope with divorce? Use those resources and get to know it.
- Figure out who these changes will impact. Your children? Your spouse? You? Everyone? Then figure out how best you will answer the questions they may have or console the insecurities they may have by being prepared to answer them and comfort them as well if needed. Also, take time to comfort yourself. (see next step) Talk to your partner, your friends, people who have experienced these changes or hire a LIFE COACH and see what advice they can offer. You don’t have to take their advice, but just learning about options is better than doing nothing about it and being unprepared.
- Relax. Take some time to care about yourself. Don’t allow yourself to think about it every second of the day. Life is going to go on. This we know. This change is going to happen, so we have to accept it. But still find that balance and take care of yourself.
And lastly, let’s examine how change is good for us.
- It forces us out of our comfort zone. Why is this good? Because we have been given this opportunity and it’s really up to us how we handle it. If we handle it well, congratulations! YAY US! If we don’t handle it well, we are given yet another opportunity to learn from this. And learning is growing. And growing is life. So even though we didn’t handle it well, we still are learning and growing.
- There is quite an adventure in change. I remember crying my face off when I moved from Calgary to Three Hills. I was super urban city girl and had never lived on an acreage before. Imagine my shock when I found out (and this was over a decade ago…) that EVERYTHING in the closest town was closed on Sundays. There was no Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s coffee. We actually had burning barrels to burn our garbage. Yeah. I know. And well water? This was a huge change. But I managed it, I handled it, had fun with the adventure of it and now I know that power goes out a lot in the middle of nowhere and that you have to clean your septic tank more often than you would think. Needless to say, after about 7 years, I moved back to Calgary. But boy of boy, did I ever learn a lot. I even worked at a grain elevator!
- You learn that with change, you can become flexible and are able to keep an open mind. What’s wrong with that?
- Because you went through that change, you are now a stronger person. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a fairy tale, sometimes change can be sad. You will overcome this loss and become stronger for it. You will survive.
- Being scared allows us to have the courage to go for it.
So next time there is change, embrace it. Look at all of the positivity that can come from it. And remember, without change, there would be no butterflies. (Unless you’re scared of butterflies, maybe find another analogy.)
Thank you so much for reading my blog. And for the comments, shares and likes! I love it. Thank you!