Change is inevitable whether it is imposed on us, or we make the change ourselves. No matter what change makes us feel uncomfortable and could even promote a sense of panic in people. This is normal for everyone. We are creatures of habit and feeling a sense of security is normal. There is a preference for routine and any transitions upset the forces of our universe. The baggage of change comes with fear, lack of control, and a change in priorities. Yet, in order to progress as a species we need to adapt. Let’s be honest, if we can’t roll with the detours of life—we will ultimately suffer.
To understand change we can look at people in prehistorical times. Man was a nomad who hunted for his meat and foraged in the wilderness for fruits to survive. They had to keep moving from place to place in order to protect themselves from predators and to flourish. As man progressed, he domesticated animals and learned how to grow food, but there was a paradigm shift of what was to come. He no longer had to adapt to change as much, since there was more control and tools. With this desire to control the environment, our ancestors probably started to panic when a change came, like a personal loss. Although we’ve adapted, the fear of change is just like it was in 3000 BC. When facing change, consider these 6 tips to grow personally and professionally.
Accept that change is normal.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future,” President John F. Kennedy said. The same holds true today. You need to come to a place of acceptance and depending on the situation, it might take longer. There is a process to accept change. However, it comes to the point where you need to make the decision to press ahead. We either work within the confines of the change, or we have to adjust our attitudes. Refusing acceptance may hinder our progress. Do yourself a solid and accept that change happens.
Face your fears.
You don’t need to let fear or anxiety regarding change to impact your life. Fear can paralyze you from making progress and from growing. It may be fear of leaving a job for another one, or finding a better mate. Think of facing fear as an exercise. The more you face it, the more you will become bolder, stronger and can shrug it off. Start journaling and writing about your fears. Sometimes we can get to the root of the origins when we can see it in front of us. Another tip is to start leaning more into the fear itself. Tell yourself that this will pass!
Believe that change can be good.
You can think of change as being good medicine instead of something always negative. Change can help usher in new business associates, friends, hobbies and new ideas. It can come in other forms as well. Let’s just say that you are adapting to a new city, it may take awhile to feel comfortable, but along the way you might find your soul mate. Be on the lookout for good changes, and become more open to the unexpected gems that await you.
Reach out to others.
No matter if you gained more responsibilities in life, work, love, or have lost your job—change can make you feel isolated! Find people and sources to navigate the change no matter what it may be. You can really learn from others on how to approach issues. They can see it more objectively than you can, and take solace in the fact that you are not alone; someone has and is going through the same situations. Admitting that we need help is hard, but you will be surprised how positive people respond.
Understand there are setbacks.
You need to accept that there are setbacks. Sometimes taking a step back can exacerbate a painful change. However, this could help you move forward. Entrepreneur.com explained this process in a more positive light. Author Carol Roth wrote that success is not always linear, and sometimes when we are delayed it can work out for our benefit. She explained: “If your mind knows that’s part of the process and removes the uncertainly around it, it’s easier to embrace.” Tackling this from the angle of acceptance is a plus for someone who feels defeated from a disappointment. Transform the way you handle setbacks. It could be the dawn of something even better.
Don’t play the victim.
While it is easy to get into a mode of self-pity and playing the victim, we can become lost in our anger and resentment. Find constructive ways to deal with the anger. Don’t justify the anger by using words like “should.” Like “They should be good to me,” or “My partner should love me,” Psychology Today shared. “Give up a sense of entitlement and to recognize that they do not inherently deserve to receive anything in the way of good treatment from others.” There is nothing wrong with sorting through what was done to you. Yet, hanging onto the bitterness and angst will delay progress. This one is tricky, especially if you have played this role for years. Success in this area will take time, but will be noticeable.
We can’t avoid change, but we can team up with it to make it work to our advantage. Whether there is a job change, a broken relationship, or moving to another town—you will not only grow, but can face it with a fearless determination.