Embracing Change

Woman holding a wrapped present.
© AntonMatyukha – depositphotos.com

I’ve always embraced change. Even unexpected change can help us develop resilience, making our character stronger. While it does force us into unfamiliar situations that may be uncomfortable, it can also encourage us to move forward and to be brave.

Unexpected change also awakens our creativity, forcing us to use our imagination to determine our next steps and ultimate destinations in the big picture of our life. In these ways change can be an exciting catalyst, giving us the chance to realign our compass to take us in new directions.

Yet more people than not don’t like change and want to keep things familiar and reliable. The problem with unexpected change is that things are not crystal clear in the beginning. We don’t know where we’re going; we just know we’re leaving where we are, and we need to grieve that loss.

Change can knock us off balance and we need to regain our footing and find balance. It can take time to explore our new landscape and find the gifts – the silver lining. We must be open to those possibilities and try not to resist.

Here are steps that can help you adjust, adapt, and eventually embrace change.

  1. Expect grief. As we pass through every life stage there will be loss of what we leave behind from the stage before. Knowing we are walking into new opportunities can help us process that grief. You can also journal, talk to people about it, and look for ways to express gratitude for what you’ve done and seen.
  2. Give yourself time. There’s an adjustment period as we walk through change, and it’s rarely a straight line. We may take a few steps forward and a few steps back. Try to appreciate the bigger picture, and release the feelings that come with change.
  3. Reflect and be real. Once things settle in, reflect with your therapist about what happened. Really talk about the experience. It’s tempting to just gloss over it and keep your feelings to yourself. Looking at it more closely will help you deal better with other changes in the future.
  4. Have fun. Be curious about change, and see your new circumstances as an experiment. Find common points between this and other changes you’ve been through in the past. Remember the times when one door closed and another opened. Imagine all the positive possibilities that may await you.

The only thing we can expect about change is that there’s probably another one right around the corner. Embracing change may not come naturally, but will make it much easier to find its many gifts and positive surprises.