Can we change the way we view change?

“Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.”

William Arthur Ward

I love this quote by William Arthur Ward Because it encapsulates how we can view change. It is human nature to want things to stay the same, however, to quote another famous person the only constant is change.

We talk about getting out of our comfort zone, ringing the changes, turning over a new leaf – just these 3 common turns of phrase create either a negative or positive viewpoint. The suggestion that we get out of our comfort zone implies we are going to be uncomfortable but ringing the changes and turning over a new leaf sound like something exciting and positive can be anticipated.

Changes can be thrust upon us, or we can be the initiator of change. Whichever it is when change happens, we have to adapt.

The pandemic of 2020 was a totally unforeseen change and radically altered the way we lived our lives, who we saw, how we worked, how we spent our free time, and where we could travel to. We couldn’t see loved ones, meet with colleagues, move about freely or socialise in any way.

Although there was a lot of fear, a lot of unknown, there was humour as our families tried to set up zoom calls and we got a close-up view of Uncle John’s left nostril. We joined in online yoga classes. We really looked forward to half an hour of exercise (for some this was revolutionary), baked banana bread with the rest of the nation and even though we had little control over personal choices, where we could, we made the most of the circumstances we faced.

Looking back now from a place where life is nearer to what it was pre pandemic, it’s hard to imagine going back to a time when we were so restricted, however we did adapt, and we did change. Some found having more time and less structure a bonus while others struggled feeling isolated and cut off.

Adapting to change can be a long process for example when a loved one dies, we lose our jobs, we have sustained a life changing injury or are abandoned by a spouse or long-term partner. On the other hand, if we initiate a change for example get married, have a baby, we find a new better paid job In another company, move to a home that better meets our needs, because they are chosen changes which by and large we are in control of they seem positive

When change is happening to or around us the ability to stay balanced will always serve us best. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II was a time of national change and transition and for many of us the queen is the only monarch we have known in our lifetime. Even for those who didn’t consider themselves a ‘Royalist’, her passing and then thinking back to times in our own lives that ran parallel with that of the Queen, can bring our own emotions to the surface. It is also time to look forward to a new era where we have King Charles III and what his reign may bring. Change is constant and the more we resist it the more fearful we will become and operating from a place fear more often than not gets some very poor results

Our thoughts control our emotions, and our emotions drive our behaviours, and our behaviours will dictate our outcomes. Finding even something small to be positive about when faced with scary and negative changes will give us a better outcome than if all we can see is the downside.

Whilst change can create fear and anxiety – be that a fear of failure, or of the unknown, or fear of making the wrong decision, it can also be the source of creativity, growth, learning and without change be that physical or emotional we can stagnate.

  1. Accept that change is happening or has happened.
  2. Look at what you are able to control within that and what you cannot.
  3. Some changes take time to accept, so give yourself time to come to terms with it.

If you are fearing what is happening, make sure you talk to those that can support you. Take your first steps by contacting me through this link.

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