This ‘C’ is for Change!
Oh how this word can inspire fear, but can it be embraced instead?
Change can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar and there is uncertainty in the unknown. Often it involves us losing or giving up something, causing a sense of grief, requiring a period of mourning for what has gone. Like any bereavement, it can invoke feelings of anger, fear, worry, guilt, hurt, sadness, betrayal, reluctance, denial, longing, regret, anxiety, panic and depression.
Many of my clients come to counselling either because change has happened to their circumstances or their health (mental or physical) or change is about to happen and they are fearful and feel they cannot or will not cope.
Many people are very resistant to change, even small changes in the way they like to do things, their rituals and routines, their jobs, their possessions or their relationships. What’s that old saying ‘better the devil you know’?
One thing is for sure, change is happening every minute, nothing stands still and seldom remains the same. Change is a constant, continuous phenomenon, which cannot be stopped.
We are often not in control of change, but we are in control of how we respond to it. Unlike the first group of clients fearing change, many clients are looking for something to change in their lives – their thinking, their perspectives, their energy, their relationships, their goals, their hopes, their spiritual life, their coping strategies, their feelings and emotions, their health and sense of wellbeing, their sense of self and self-confidence. Willingness to be open minded about change, even if minimal, is a necessary motivator for counselling, including perhaps changing our view of change itself.
It doesn’t have to be a negative experience – it could be empowering, exciting, enhancing, developing and exhilarating leading to growth and life changing new perspectives and events. Change can keep us hungry for life or inspire us to find life. Rather than make us depressed or anxious, it can give us new hope and self-motivation.
So how do we embrace change and use it to our advantage?
Expectation, Acceptance, Preparation, Patience, Learning, Letting Go.
- Expect change to happen – know that change is the certainty in life!
- Accept that we cannot control it or stop it happening in our lives!
- Be prepared to expect change to happen, interact with it and make it work for the future you want – don’t fight it or try to protect yourself from it!
- When experiencing change to the familiar be patient that a new familiar will emerge!
- Learn from the past in that old gives way to the new – what worked then may not now!
- Finally let go of the fear of change and make a conscious effort to embrace the ‘C’ word!