Change is a normal part of life, it’s inevitable. However, accepting change can be really difficult. It’s not always easy to adjust to new circumstances. The root of resistance to accepting change is worry about losing something of value or not being able to successful adapt and navigate the new circumstances. The trouble is we are all bound to encounter change at various points in our life. Therefore, it is important to work on better managing and accepting change.
WHY IS ACCEPTING CHANGE OFTEN SO TOUGH?
Fear is one of the biggest factors in the difficulties with accepting change. There is something comfortable about the familiar and leaving the comfortable is scary.
Often, we can’t really predict what this change will bring. This can lead to a lot of worries about how we will manage and what our lives will now look like. If you are moving, starting school or a new job, getting married, etc., until you experience it’s hard to know what the experience will be like. That can be really terrifying, even when you know it’s the right decision for yourself.
Fear of failure also may come into play. For example, if you are starting college or a new job, it is common to worry about things like “will I be successful and pass my classes,” or “Will I be able to handle the tasks I am given at work?” It is also common to fear that the stress of transitioning will be too much to handle. This kind of fear can be really paralyzing.
Another strain on accepting change is when we don’t really feel ready or want the change to come. For example, you may need to change your job because you can’t make enough money or you are forced to leave. Or the college you want to go to in in a different state and you prefer to stay with your family. In circumstance like this, when it is not your fullest choice, it is much harder to work on accepting change.
BUT DO NOT WORRY, NOT ALL IS LOST. YOU CAN WORK ON BETTER ACCEPTING CHANGE. LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW.
- Find positives: Think about the positives in the change. Focus on your reasons for choosing to make a change, rather than your anxieties. When you don’t feel you have a choice, think about things that you are looking forward to with this new step. List the good things that will come from this transition. When you find yourself feeling anxious or scare, take a minute to refocus on the positive.
- Learn to embrace change: Embrace means to welcome with open arms and accept completely. Don’t fight reality. Change often comes whether we want it to or not. When you find yourself fearing the change, take a step back and remind yourself that this is the reality. It can be easy to spend wasted energy thinking about how frustrated you are that there is change or on our fears. If instead, you put that energy to changing your mindset to embrace the change, your path will be much smoother. Part of this connects to practicing all the tips mentioned. The rest is just working on a mindset that is accepting of change. You do this by telling yourself that change is good and you are resilient to handle any stress that comes with it.
- Cope ahead: Change does bring along challenges and stress. Think about what obstacles and hardships you will encounter and plan for them. This is about making a problem solving plan. It is helpful to imagine yourself in the stress but using your cope ahead plan successfully. This helps you trust that you will be ok. Filling your stress management toolbox is important here. Sometimes change brings temporary stress that you just need to let pass. Having strategies to do so before you actually enter the stress is extremely helpful. Refer below to download your free stress management guide to start filling your toolbox today.
- Challenge fear: A lot of fear and anxiety around change is catastrophizing. Take a step back and really ask “what’s the worst that can happen,” and “what will that really be life?” Most of the time you will see that in reality, it is not the end of the world and you can handle it.
- Lean on support: No one is arguing that change is hard. It is important in stressful times like this to allow yourself to lean on others for support. Ask for help when you need it. Whether you just need a listening ear or help with an actual task, know that you can ask others for help. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of “I should be able to do it alone.”
- Stop ruminating: Don’t allow yourself to just sit and obsess over your fears and worries. Stop only thinking about the change that is coming. Find ways to distract yourself. Make sure this change is not your only focus.
The bottom line is that accepting change is about having a plan. This plan includes how to keep you mindset and emotions in check and actionable steps to help you navigate through. Letting the anxiety consume you has not productive value, it just creates stress that can be avoided. When you know a change is coming, use the above steps to help you create your plan. The key is to take time and actually think about the specifics of what, when, where, and how you will proceed.
Don’t forget to download your free stress management guide here. Be ready to handle any change that comes your way.