How to Cope with the Inevitability of Change
by Linda-Ann Stewart
The world is changing all the time. Sometimes, it sedately plods along, but other times, change explodes and disrupts the status quo in a major way. When this happens, it's normal to resist change, especially because it's imposed on you.
Whether your choice or not, change is threatening and scary. Nothing will ever be exactly the same as it was. You don't know what you may lose, and no one likes to leave their comfort zone or feel out of control. But there are times when massive change happens whether you like it or not.
How Change Affects You
For instance, a deadly pandemic creates a major upheaval in everyone's life. As a result, you could have to find another job, or you need to move to a new location, or a loved one may become chronically ill. Unwelcome and unexpected change brings uncertainty, which leads to stress and ultimately to anxiety.
When change is sudden and affects your personal life, your normal response is to go into shock. Shock gives you time to process the reality of what's happened. When you begin to emerge from the numbness, you may get anxious because you don't know what to do. Or you do know what to do, and it's overwhelming.
How to Handle the Uncertainty
When you find ways to handle the uncertainty, you feel more in control. Here are four steps you can do to take charge of your life.
1. Accept the change. The more you resist or deny the change, the less energy, resourcefulness or time you have to adjust to it. If you can't accept the change yet, acknowledge that it has affected you. This is your first step to coping with it and moving forward.
2. Grieve the loss. For every change, something has to be left behind. There can also be opportunities, but often they come later in the process. At this point, if you have a sense of loss of what you valued, allow yourself the space to mourn. Only after grieving can you seek how to extract some good from the situation.
3. Deal with the anxiety. What can you do in the moment to reduce your anxiety? Maybe it's to learn a new skill, do some research, or go to a caregiving support group. Or maybe all you can do in the moment is take some deep breaths to ground yourself.
4. Make a plan. No matter how small the steps might be, or even one tiny step, make a plan. This will bring you a sense of control, lower your stress, and allow you to think more clearly. When you take one step, figure out what the next two might be, and take them. Keep doing this until you build up momentum.
When you become proactive, you take charge and begin to adjust to the change that's affecting your life. As you chart your course through the troubled waters, you can find a way to survive and thrive with the changes that have happened.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
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As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.