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How To Deal With Change Effectively and Positively

Updated on January 14, 2013

Be Prepared For Change

My motto is: Facing change is like being prepared for stormy weather, "Always carry an umbrella and the change in weather will not catch you by surprise."
My motto is: Facing change is like being prepared for stormy weather, "Always carry an umbrella and the change in weather will not catch you by surprise." | Source

Change Is A Natural Part Of Life

Life is full of changes. It is a truth we must learn to accept, especially in our world today. It happens. We tend to look upon change as a bad thing in life, perhaps at times it is so. However, change can be a good thing. I like to look on the optimistic side of change. It is much more productive, peaceful and healthy.

As humans, we tend to enjoy a certain pattern of living, a paradigm of sorts, when that paradigm shifts it causes us to rebel. Why do people fear change? I suppose it is because change forces them out of their comfort zone. In the end, we must decide whether change is going to cause us to enjoy life and face it bravely, or to resist and delve into the bitterness of indifference.

Reasons People Fear Change & Symptoms Of Change

Major Change Catalysts
Symptoms of Fear Of Change
Death of a loved one, or friend
Crying, at times excessively
Series of life changes
Loss of energy
Multiple moves; location changes
Focused on the past
Blaming of others

Quotes On Change

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. —Alan Watts

Change is the source of life. Be willing to exchange what you are for what you can become. —Unknown

How Do You View Change?

Your attitude will determine how you view change. When faced with change do you embrace it and set a plan for learning from the experience? Or do you openly resist it or withdraw; choosing to remain where you are and complain about the situation?

If we focus only on today, than we may fail to succeed tomorrow. Preparing for change, being ready for it will help us to effectively overcome hurdles in our path. You have to expect discomfort when change happens, your flexibility, your attitude, will determine your successful path to happiness. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "We are just about has happy as we make up our minds to be."

Choose The Positive Side Of Change

Reflective Quotes On Change

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes. —Hugh Prather

Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with. —Peter Marshall

Life is about change, and about movement and about being something other than what you are at this very moment. —Oprah Winfrey

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The Five Phases of Change

Knowing the phases of change may help improve your view of it and boost your well being and self worth as you work through the stages.

  1. The Shock Phase is the awareness of change or that it is coming. People frequently fear what they do not know or what they cannot control. They may say, "We're doing fine. Why do we need to change?"
  2. During the Resistance Phase a person is faced with the unknown. They do not want to move from their present view or place in life. They may focus on the past or withdraw from the those who are causing change. They tend to say, "I can't adjust to this."
  3. The Depression Phase turns inward, negativity is evident and includes blaming others, moments of anxiety and feelings of being lost. This stage is crucial, if they do not accept change then the path leads to emotional and physical abandonment or resignation of the path forward. They believe life is unfair and change is bad.
  4. The fourth stage, the Adaption Phase, finds a person beginning to accept change and the possibilities change will bring. They may exhibit loss of energy from dealing with the contemplation of change.
  5. The final stage, the Phase Of Learning, finds the person committing to change. They have a better focus and are willing to work towards change's goal. If it involves others, they will begin to work with them, while keeping optimistic.

The graph below shows the progress of the phases of change based upon mood and time (awareness to acceptance to commitment). Source: Adapted from

Final Quotes On Change

Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin. —Denise McCluggage

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth... a right time to hold on and another to let go... —Book of Ecclesiastes (MSG)

Strategies For Effective Change

Surround yourself with people who are optimistic about change. Present yourself as an open-minded individual, not as a casualty of displaced attitude. Reach out to those who support you and are willing to help you through the change. If you find change overwhelming and cannot cope, seek professional counseling.

Exercise. Movement will help your brain to convert fear into energy. It will benefit your body greatly as stress is alleviated. Keep going forward, don't wait for change to happen. "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious. When you see the bandwagon coming down the road, it is too late." —Unknown

Alcohol, denial, overeating, revenge, anger, and blaming are negative coping mechanisms. Avoid resorting to these methods as they tend to lead to a state of prolonged depression.

Use critical thinking skills. By thinking through the change, you can separate fact from opinion. It allows you to identify fallacies and to see beyond the obvious. Critical thinking leads to good decisions which are signs of a well balanced person.

According to career advisors the average person will experience over five major career changes in their lifetime. Today, one-third of the working population will change jobs approximately every twelve months. The reasons for these changes vary from boredom, increased financial opportunity, a better awareness of skills and talents, and personal reasons such as conflict at work. Concern of change in careers affects people differently, learning how to deal with the emotional responses is key and seek a career advisor's consultation if necessary.

Prepare For Change

Anticipate change. Adopt an attitude of optimism and practice continual improvement of thought towards change. Think about the good things that change can bring and how you can grow through the phases. If you sit too comfortably, you will fall asleep and miss out on the broader opportunities of life. The other side of change is full of excitement, and challenges that will lead you to success.

Facing change will balance your life and bring joy, contentment, and peace to your life and those whom you love.


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