Do You Need To Make That Change?
By Dr.Ann on December 02, 2012
Do you find yourself in a new season of or new phase of life? If you are, it’s not surprising. Although we all have periods of calm and predictability, more often, life is punctuated by shifts, transitions, and sudden storms. Living life requires an ability to adapt to change.
Sometimes change is completely unwelcome. It might be a move to a new place, far away from family and friends, or it could be an unexpected broken arm that leaves you sidelined for weeks. Even good changes, like that promotion you’ve been hoping for or a new baby, can be stressful. Often, the difficulty of change is that it requires us to do something starkly different. It requires us to step out of our comfort zone, just as we were getting used to the way things were.
Yet that old truism is true. Nothing stays the same but change itself. You can count on the fact that change will enter your life. Although we can’t alter that truth, we can make some important choices about how we decide to respond to change.
1) Be prepared. Develop a mindset of flexibility. Rather than clinging only to what is tried and true, make room for the reality that your life will be an ever-changing landscape. Although you shouldn’t let go completely of the things before you, be willing to hold onto them more loosely.
2) Be positive. When changes do come, it’s often our instinct to resist them and to look back longingly at how things used to be. Yet the old ways were once new too! Focus on the positives – as yet unseen – that could emerge from your new situation. And be open to them.
3) Be patient. Change often requires that we adapt to something completely different or unknown to us. That will not happen overnight. Allow yourself room to roll with the new experience in a stepwise fashion. Give yourself permission to embrace the change at your own pace. Missteps and mistakes may be the new normal, and that’s okay.
4) Be practical. Now that you have cultivated a patient and positive attitude, look to see what practical steps you can take to incorporate this new season of your life. With any challenge, there are ways you can respond that will have a positive effect on the situation. Identify these steps, and formulate a do-able plan to carry out those steps. This allows you to be a partner to the change, not a victim of it.
5) Be prayerful. If you are not in full control of your outcomes, who is? It’s normal for us to want to know what lies ahead. Prayer reminds us that God is ultimately in control, and that we can rest in and rely on Him.
This week’s self-reflection: Are you in a season of change right now? Do you find yourself resisting it or can you become more open to the benefits that change may also bring?
This week’s call to action: Take some time to slow down and look at the new landscape you are in. Remember that change is normal, and it doesn’t have to happen easily or overnight. Use a journal to list three to five positive steps you can take in your new situation. Give yourself a reasonable, generous time frame to take those steps. Then put a note in your calendar to follow-up on what you’ve done, so you can see your progress.
Although you cannot change change, you always have a choice in how you respond to it.
And that may just be the very change you need.
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