If the only constant in life is change, why does change freak us out so much? Whether you are beginning or ending a relationship, moving residences, changing careers, or lose a loved one, change, good or bad, causes stress. Let's look at how change works and five key reasons for giving change a chance.
What is Change?
Change is a broad term and can apply to many things. But all change requires an adjustment to a person’s environment, situation, or physical/mental condition and adjustments often cause stress, even when they’re positive. With change, we are unsure of what we are going to get, but often, even negative changes yield positive results.
Key Reason #1: The Snowball Effect
Often we give up because we doubt our ability to accomplish the difficult task of making a huge and immediate change. That is why small changes are so valuable. Remember “baby steps” from the 1991 movie What About Bob, starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss? Well, it’s true, making one small change at a time will eventually lead you to your desired goal. In Life Transitions Counseling, I help my clients identify the changes they want to make in their lives and assist them in developing realistic and attainable goals as well as specific steps they can begin taking toward achieving their goals.
Key Reason # 2: “That which does not kill you makes you stronger”
If you take some time to reflect on your life, you will discover that most good things are the result of change. For example, a career change can bring about increased self-confidence or a deeper understanding of what you want to do with your life. You grow and learn every time something in your life changes. You'll discover new insights about different aspects of your life. You'll learn lessons even from changes that did not lead you to where you thought you wanted to be. It is true that not all change is pleasant and can be painful while you are experiencing it. Sadly, life is not a fairy tale and sad things do happen, but overcoming difficult periods in life can make you stronger.
Key Reason #3: Creating New Learning Opportunities
We don't know what change will bring. When you stray from your familiar path there will be many opportunities waiting for you. When we decide to sign up for a class, take a trip, or practice a new skill we are creating positive change. It can be stressful stepping into that classroom for the first time or figuring out the logistics of a trip. Yet the reward of expanded experiences and connections that we make are well worth the effort and risk!
By signing up for a continuing education class, we have the chance to learn about a new subject, practice a craft, or pursue a passion. By traveling, we explore a new place and find new connections with new people. Each change is a turning page. It is about closing one chapter and opening another. Change brings new opportunities for happiness and fulfillment. As the song, Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield, says: “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.”
Key Reason #4: Change Challenges Us
To live up to our full potential, we need challenges in our lives. When we are tested, we come to understand our true capabilities. We also have the chance to make mistakes and learn from them. This is certainly where the half-full/half-empty concept comes into play! Yet through the lens of time, you may find that change sets you on a new, meaningful, and more authentic path.
Key Reason #5: You Can’t Avoid Change
As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher stated, “Change is the only constant in life.” No matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid change. Our lives are not static but are instead constantly in motion. Why not embrace the fact that change will happen? You may surprise yourself with what happens.
Change sometimes presents itself as moments that include joy, sorrow, uncertainty, anxiety, anger, or grief. Yet, it is how we face these changes that matter. If you are struggling with a change in your life, please feel free to contact me at 480-427-3553 for a free 15-30-minute phone consultation or contact me here. We can discuss your specific needs, and I can answer questions you have about Life Transitions Counseling.