"All great changes are preceded by chaos"
Change for most of us can be challenging, scary & something we avoid at all costs.
It can be something we know we have to go through if we want something different in our lives or maybe change has happened unexpectedly or been forced upon us.
Here are some of the main reasons for these emotions.
Loss of control
Change interferes with our autonomy and can make us feel we have lost control of our lives or the situation. Our sense of determination and confidence may be the first thing we lose which allows the fear to overtake our rational mind.
This uncertainly can make us feel like we have been blindfolded and we are not sure what we are walking into. This can allow the reality of any situation to become something to fear and avoid
Decisions that have been imposed on us
It is human nature that when decisions have been imposed on us, our instant reaction is to say no and reject the change. This is especially true when we have had no time to think about how this may impact on our lives or create a plan.
Whatever the change, the fear and chaos can hold us back so how can we deal with change?
In the 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 processing change.
1. Feeling numb
The feeling that we can't quite believe what has happened, not sure what to think or do. This then allows our emotions to settle and process the depth of change
Once our emotions have gathered the facts our mind may not be willing to accept them so our mind 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 and we feel overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with the change. It may be a new job that we think, “what have I done” “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 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 core values if they don't we may start to look for different options.
This is when we regain routine, calm returns to our lives and normality is an every day occurrence
So how can we use this process to help with change?
What aspects do I have control over?
- Understand whatever chaos is surrounding us there is a process our emotions follow
- Challenge yourself around each step by asking questions like
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 well
Treat yourselves gently and ensure you praise yourself for the small successes
I worked with Jo for over 2 years in a new job as a young professional, Jo coached me through my job helping me self discover & build confidence not only in my career but in life’s everyday challenges. There are many aspects to Jo’s style but 1 thing I feel is a unique talent is her way of understanding & passion for life. My 2 years being taught, coached & supported by Jo were a great experience & I can’t thank her enough.