To change or not to change?

To change or not to change?

Change is one of the few things in life that is absolutely guaranteed, yet most people are unprepared or unwilling to cope with it.

Change is a difficult process because it involves letting go of an old situation, be it good or bad. It’s human nature to have anxiety whenever we experience loss or have something new in our lives. As we move out of our comfort zone, the future becomes uncertain, and our angst intensifies.

Often viewed in a negative context, change can take a toll on us physically and emotionally. Simply put, it can make us sick and depressed, a state that isn’t conducive for making positive choices.

Change is usually accompanied by feelings of unease and restlessness, which can lead to healthy or unhealthy reactions. A healthy reaction motivates you to do the things necessary to get what you want. An unhealthy reaction paralyzes you and keeps you from moving forward.

Resistance to change is very common and often appears when you are firmly entrenched within your current circumstances. If your life is working somewhat, it can be very difficult to imagine an alternative way of doing things. It’s easy to make excuses to avoid change. Among the excuses include: I’m too busy. I have to make a living. I have personal and family obligations. I don’t have time to think about and deal with change.

If you want to better understand your relationship to change, it can be helpful to examine your prior experience with it. How have the major changes in your life come about? Do you tend to initiate change, or do your circumstances usually force you into it? Armed with that knowledge, you can chart a better path for coping with life’s transitions.

Keep in mind that it’s never too late to change. You can always make adjustments to get to the kind of future you want. You can start by incorporating some small action into your life that will move you closer to your goals, no matter how insignificant it might seem. This process can be done gradually and evolve over time. It’s not necessary to quit your job or put your entire life on hold in order to make a change.

It’s important to look at the process of change in a realistic and positive way. Change doesn’t have to be something you dread. It is usually just a signal that something in your life needs attention. Change can be exciting and bring new opportunities for growth. Instead of fearing change, learn to expect it, welcome it, and to sometimes even initiate it.

How do you feel about change? Do you tend to resist making changes in your life, even when you need to? What strategies do you have for coping with change? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lora

    What a relevant topic in my life! I am currently looking to get out of a hectic job that will only get more hectic as the spring progresses. I need to make the change to find calmer waters where my mind will be allowed to be its creative self without the constant interruptions of a mundane existence.
    But changing is so frightening. How can I survive financially? Will I have the discipline to keep at whatever I choose to do? And for that matter, what do I really want to do?
    Sometimes it’s easier to deal with the stress of the current situation than the anxiety of the unknown that change will bring, even if change might just bring a positive outcome.
    Change is a part of life, even if it’s only having to take a detour on your way to work because the bridge is being rebuilt. I have to understand that. Without change, the mind becomes static and thus cannot grow and learn which is what I (and others) need.

    1. Cliff Harwin

      Hi Lora,

      This is a relevant topic in many peoples lives! The best way to deal with change is to do it on a gradual basis. Another aspect of change is to know what kind of change that you’d like to make.

      I offer HSP email consultations to help give you options on what you can do. Let me know if you’re interested in getting more details.

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