May 19, 2015

Transient Tuesdays: How to Embrace Change

Change.  We’ve all experienced it.  We’ve invited it in, probably tried to slam the door on it, and we’ve been surprised by it!  Change, while not always welcome, and certainly unpleasant at times, usually leaves us better than when we started.  And, if you are a control freak, well, change just doesn’t fit into your plan, but I’ve got a plan for that!

First, let’s break it down.  There are three basic types of change.  For the sake of time, we’ll keep it simple:

1.      A desired change. This is the change that occurs because you want it to.  It could be a new car, a new marriage, a new recipe, a new home!  A new hobby? Go for it! This is the kind of change that we proclaim, “Yes, change, my old friend, I’m so happy to see you! Welcome!”
2.       Necessary change.  It may or may not be desired.  You have an ear infection, and your doctor prescribes you some antibiotics.  A nuisance, yes, but you want to feel better, right?  You want to lose a few pounds.  This requires a lifestyle change in how you eat and exercise.  You want it, but it’s going to take some work to get there, and frankly, keep it there.  You want that change, so you make it happen!
3.       Smack-in-the-head change.  Yes, that change that creeps up on you and nearly breaks your jaw by its impact.  Perhaps your significant other has asked for a divorce, or you’ve lost your job.  Ugh.  It’s the dreaded change; the punch in the gut kind of change. Change, change, go away!

Now, let’s explore what to do with that change.  This applies to all three types.

Feel it.  Yes, just feel it.  This is always the first piece of the puzzle.  I can’t emphasize enough how important this first step is. It’s scary, but it’s a requirement.  It’s the key to your success, but it’s also the hardest. You can do it!

Desired change – It just feels good, right?  It could be expensive or it could be free!  Either way you want it and it feels amazing!  Feel it! I’m giving your permission.  It’s okay to be over the moon! 

Necessary change – It might make you a little grumpy in the shor-term.  It’s the end result that matters, yes?  So, do it!  Huff and puff through that first workout, cry when you think you can't go any further.  You know you’ll make it through, it’s just going to take some time. 

Smack-in-the-head change – Yes, feel this one too, even if it’s failure, mourning, despair, anger.  You must.  I believe that denial is the most deadly condition.  You don’t have to like it, but you must feel your way through it. 

Make a plan.  You’ve left denial behind in step one.  Now what?  Ask yourself some important questions:

How do I get from here to the end of this? Think it through.  It may seem impossible, but even a general plan is better than no plan at all. Write it down.

What about this can I actually control?  Make a list, and be honest with yourself.  Don’t be afraid to list both the good and the bad.  Do not focus on the pieces you can’t control.  This will just add to your stress.  There are times you can’t control most of the situation, but focus on what you can control.

Has anyone else been through this? If so, get their input.  If not, research it.   Someone, somewhere has already been through it.  And while your experiences may differ to some degree, at least hear what they have to say. You may not use all of their advice. Write down the steps that you know will likely work for you.

Is this plan realistic?  Check it.  Make sure it’s something you can accept as reality and that it's something you can stick to. 

Put your plan into motion.  So what if you need to take baby steps, just take the steps.  And if a step in your plan doesn’t work, try a different one.  It’s okay, especially if you’ve never been through it before.  You may even find a new strength or talent you didn’t even know you had.  Just keep going.

Breathe.  This part is imperative.  You may need to stop and just breathe.  Maybe you’ve been feeling your way through it, even as you follow your plan.  It’s been stressful.  Take a break.  You may feel overwhelmed. Watch a movie, cuddle, get that chocolate shake, whatever you need to give yourself a moment to breathe.

Acknowledge your successes and failures.  This is where we really start the learning process.  We start to understand our own strengths and weaknesses.  We all have them, and we’re all different.  If it’s taking a little longer than expected,  take another baby step.  Repeat the good parts!

Do not give up.  When you’re still in limbo, but almost to the finish line, you can see the light, but you just can’t reach it yet, keep going.  This is where you become eager, but the end just can’t get here fast enough.  This is where the growth really takes place.  It’s like it’s staring you down and laughing in your face.  This is part of the challenge. Smile back and don’t stop, especially now.

Recognize the reward.  Let’s face it, some pain lingers in the dreaded change.  I’m not saying it’s going to go away, but your plan has brought you to a point where you can genuinely smile again.  Maybe just that was your final goal.  To the world, it may seem trivial, but to you, it’s a much-needed accomplishment.  Acknowledge that! It’s important! 

These steps may seem a little too logical in the midst of emotional upheaval, good or bad, but we need logic to keep us grounded.  It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you.  And change, no matter how painful or tragic, can make us better versions of ourselves.  We just have to cross the finish line.  Are you going to want to give up along the way?  Maybe.  Are you going to pretend it’s not happening?  Not if you avoided the ugly denial monster!  Are you going to change the world?  Eh, probably not, but who knows?  Are you going to know how to deal with change better the next time around?  Yes, and you may even do it a little differently next time, but at least you have an idea what works and doesn’t work for you.

In the end, it’s between you and change.  You can be defeated by it, or you can embrace it.  I promise that you will love who you are in the end.  And the best part?  You can let your light shine on someone else; hold someone else’s hand through their own journey, and cheer them on when they cross their victory line. That, too, is life-changing.

Kristin is a career leader, mom, and amateur blogger and poet. She seeks out the best parts of our chaotic world.  She plays with the musings in her head and then writes them down, sometimes, much to their dismay.  She wants to bring light to the dark places.  She will not stop until she’s inspired at least one person.  And hey, if it’s you, let her know.  She might just try for number two!

Visit her new blog Chaotic Belief
Also, follow her on Facebook and Twitter!
A big thanks to this lovely lady, for joining us in Transient TuesdaysNext week, on Transient Tuesdays, we have Hema. Stay tuned to read more, scribblers!

Previously on Transient Tuesdays:
Transient Tuesdays: Announcement

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  1. I have a hard time with change myself so these are excellent tips and reminders. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. I love how you broke down the different type of changes. I agree you can choose to let it defeat you or embrace it. As for me I choose to embrace change, because I hate losing ^_^

  3. Kristin - chaoticbeliefTuesday, May 19, 2015 4:32:00 PM

    My pleasure, I'm glad it was helpful!

  4. Kristin - chaoticbeliefTuesday, May 19, 2015 4:33:00 PM

    Me too, Cindy! Thank you!

  5. Such good advice here. Change is important.

  6. Hello Kristin and Here I Scribble,

    Enlightening post. Oh! Change! It can be life changing and scary at the same time. I have had my fair share of lessons learnt via change and still learning. Coming from a conservative family made it even more difficult to embrace change. But I realized if I was to grow and make a mark in the world I had to change. Change positively to benefit myself and others.

    I haven't looked back. Your post took me to those moments I dreaded the most. Change tossed me around. But I have now emerged stronger and more confident. Doesn't get any better than this:)

    Thank you both again:)

  7. Kristin - chaoticbeliefThursday, May 28, 2015 5:50:00 PM

    It happens all the time, Rachel! ;)

  8. Kristin - chaoticbeliefThursday, May 28, 2015 5:51:00 PM

    Thank you, Hema! The best part about change is coming out the other side. :)

  9. Kristin - chaoticbeliefThursday, May 28, 2015 5:51:00 PM

    Thank you, Claire.

  10. Kristin - chaoticbeliefThursday, May 28, 2015 5:52:00 PM

    Always embrace it, Jessica. The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. :)


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