CHANGE! We all know it’s an inevitable and necessary fact of life.
In fact it is something we face each day. The world, our environment and even our inner worlds—our thoughts, feelings and beliefs— are in constant flux.
Change can be positive or negative, big or small, swift or gradual, welcome or unwanted.
No matter what its quality however, it does still seem to jar us and create some level of uneasiness, uncertainty and fear!
When we can learn to embrace change and allow ourselves to move gracefully with it, we become more comfortable with ourselves and the world. We can even learn to invite change and enjoy rather than fear it!
Here are some ideas about managing change that may help you on your way through times of change and transition.
1. Identify ways to feel in charge of the process.
You may not be in charge of it all but there are usually areas where you can begin to exercise some level of competence or sense that you are managing it instead of having it manage you. Taking even a small positive action helps you feel empowered and less like a victim of circumstances.
2. Realize that there are stages to change.
Let yourself be where you are and adopt appropriate solutions for that stage. It is especially important to process feelings as you move along.
Creatively choose how you want to navigate the territory you are in at any given the moment.
Stage 1. Initiation
Dissolution of the familiar
Shock, confusion, doubt, fear and anxiety
Aspects of identity and life are shifting
BREATHE; grieve losses; indulge in extra tender loving self-care
Allow and process feelings; let go of resistance
Remain open to learning new skills to rise to new challenges
Stage 2. Reactivity
Anger can be a sign that your energy is thawing out
Process all feelings related to change
Conscious awareness enhances strength and personal power
Healthy choices re: channeling feeling facilitates healthy control
Anger can be useful to mobilize new action plans
Stage 3. Integration
Integrate new abilities, skills, emotions or beliefs
Acclimate to your new circumstances
Enjoy arriving past the trauma
Congratulate yourself on new learning!
Identify and emphasize strengths discovered
In any time of transition is it essential to remember to be kind with yourself and release self judgments and inner violence. Be sure to practice being in the moment without critical thoughts.
You can take your time, acknowledge where you are in your process, choose to see transition as an adventure or a mystery to unravel and match your response with the stage of your journey. Above all, stay in touch with the emotions that are part of your future goal …keep your eye on the prize…there is always a beginning, a middle and an end to everything–even change!
What do you find most challenging about change?