Hello SOTGC community,
What is it about change that can make even the best of us feel unbalanced? Considering it is just as certain as death and taxes, it would be great if we could all handle change with effortless ease.
Whether the transition is happening by choice, or due to life’s unforeseen circumstances, we are thrust into the grey area that exists between the old and the new. Because we find ourselves out of the definitiveness of “black or white” territory, the uncertainty that ensues can cause us to feel anxious, depressed, and even overwhelmed.
Most of us are very busy, and I know that it is common to think, “I don’t have time for this” when it comes to facing changes in life. More often than not, it’s not the actual change itself that we “don’t have time for,” it is the emotional effect of the change that we are resistant to; in other words, it’s the stress of the transition that we try to push against.
When we push, or resist, we exist in a state of tension, both physical and emotional – clearly not the path to effortless ease.
So what’s the solution? Here are my three tips to help you consciously deal with change:
First, understand that it is natural to expect resistance. If you are prepared for it, it is much easier to deal with. The more you can be certain about the presence of uncertainty in your life, the more relaxed you will feel when it comes to visit.
Second, when resistance knocks at your door, welcome it like an honored guest that you’ve been dying to meet. Invite it inside, and relax with it for a while. Listen consciously to what it has to say, what it has to tell you … it has come as a teacher, and your being will become wiser for having been in its company.
Third, know when to gracefully show resistance to the door. Like the guest that doesn’t quite get your subtle hints that the party is over, you must make it abundantly clear that while you’ve enjoyed (sort of, or not) your time together, it is time to move on.
This last step is easy to skip and can be the reason why things seem more difficult than they really need to be…
When you are in a period of transition, it is far too easy to allow the transition to become your entire life. Put another way, you may lose sight of some of the other things in your life that are important … your family, your health, your social life, and also the fact that you are not the only one that might be dealing with some change.
I ran into an acquaintance recently, and after being asked how I was, I continued in a brief rant about the recent transitions in my life (moving, saying a final goodbye to a grandparent and a pet, and changing time zones). Once I finally ended my story, she proceeded to tell me that she had to put her dog to sleep the night before … it sure made me put my foot in my mouth, and realize that I am not the only person in the world that might be “in transit,”and it also reminded to shift my attention back to what matters most.
The great thing about transitions is that they are temporary and have the opportunity to usher us into a new and wonderful phase in life. This, however, requires a few things … patience, managed expectations, and support if you need it.
And the best advice I can possibly give is to start to think of transitions in another way – as transformations, because that is what they are, and with that mindset, the possibilities for a positive outcome are always on your side. The worst case scenario is that you have lived and learned, and you can choose to move forward and start anew.
Have you ever had a tough time dealing with change? If so, what did you do that made a difference? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, and so would our readers!
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