Seven key things we need to know about change

Change means we want something different. Maybe we are not happy with the current situation or maybe a change has happened in our lives that we weren’t expecting or didn't want.

But how do we deal with change?

Whether welcome or not, change is difficult sometimes even painful. However change is crucial for self-development and growth. Within this chaos of change, our emotions follow a pattern; a process to guide us from beginning to end.

Here are seven steps we go through when dealing with the process of change:

1. Feeling numb

The feeling that we can't quite believe what has happened, we are not sure what to think or do. This then allows our emotions to settle and process the depths of change.

2. Denial

Once our emotions have gathered the facts our mind may not be willing to accept them, so it plays down the seriousness of change. You may say to yourself, “It's not that bad”, “It could be worse” or you may even block out the reality of what is happening.

3. Self-doubt and depression

Reality is now setting in. We may feel overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with the change. It may be a new job that we think, “What have I done?” or “I'm just not good enough”.

One theory suggests that misery = negative emotion and resistance, which I believe explains this stage well - the resistance to accept the change.

4. Starting to acknowledge and accept the situation

This is when we slowly start to accept the reality of the situation. Things start to feel a little more normal however this may be slow. We may feel that we have a few setbacks and are moving at a snail's pace.

5. Starting to move forward

This is the part of the process when we are trying out new things. Starting to think about dating after a divorce, or trying new approaches at work after our promotion. We are slowly gaining control and confidence by testing out what we can achieve.

6. Seeing the bigger picture

We start searching for meaning and start seeing how this will affect our future. Does this change align with our call values if they don't we may start to look for different options.

7. Normalising 

This is when we regain routine, calm returns to our lives and normaility is an every day occurrence.

So how can we use this process to help with change?

  • Understand that whatever chaos is surrounding us, there is a process our emotions follow.
  • Challenge yourself around each step by asking questions.

Questions include:

  • What aspects do I have control over?
  • How can I keep my body healthy for example exercise diet and daily routine?
  • Identify people that can help you focus on moving forward with encouragement and support. 
  • Take responsibility for the energy you allow in your life, for example those who don’t deal with change may be a negative influence.
  • Treat yourselves gently and ensure you praise yourself for the small successes.

If you have found this article useful please feel free to add comments and share with friends and colleagues.


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