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October 18, 2012
AIRDRIE, AB, Oct. 18,2012/ Troy Media/ – Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by an issue or problem in your life that you felt the urge to hide? So out of options and ideas that you felt like the universe was conspiring against you? This is a frequent feeling for those navigating through an unhappy relationship or a pending divorce.
I imagine that we have all had moments in our life that shared this perspective. Challenging moments, filled with adversity tend to leave us feeling helpless, insecure and uncertain about our choices.
‘When all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can’t put you back together again, the universal human reaction is . . . dread.’ It is our humanistic response to unwelcome changes.
Barry Michels & Phil Stutz
But, why do we resist change? Choosing to agonize over a problem rather than do something constructive about it?
Perhaps, as the saying goes, the only people who like change are busy cashiers and wet babies. Most of us find change disorienting and uncomfortable, creating within us anxiety, doubt and fear. We like our established routines (even when they are clearly not working for us)! Why? Because we don’t have to think! Thinking is hard work.
We tend to respond to change the same way we respond to anything we perceive as a threat: by flight or fight (even paralysis or freezing). Our first reaction is flight – we try to avoid change if we can. When that doesn’t work, we seal ourselves off from those around us, using negativity, destructive criticism and even self-sabotage. We are consumed by our resistance and our fears.
There are so many of us living uninspired lives. Even when we achieve the results we think we want, we often still feel unfulfilled. Depression, stress and anxiety related illnesses are on the rise. This seems so strange in an era where so much is possible and so many opportunities exist for each of us. We live in a world where creativity and uniqueness are celebrated and yet, we still crave being endorsed or validated by others.
If you don’t learn how to handle change/problems, you set yourself up for a lifetime of stress, anxiety, pain and fear. Our friends tell us that we need to learn to cope better. However, though coping is an important skill, it still limits your choices. Just coping means you probably feel helpless & trapped a victim of the situation in your life. You end up on the sidelines, cocooned and isolated. You check out!
Or . . . you can charge through the change filled with anger and frustration, trying to force things to go your way. But if you spend your life fighting change then you will be filled with destructive energy that saps your strength and leaves you lonely and once again, victimized.
Learning to handle any change means making conscious choices about how you respond and what you do in the face of change. If you don’t learn change tactics, you’ll continue to struggle emotionally and energetically.
Transformation can happen really fast. Everyone has the chance to redefine themselves no matter what obstacles may show up in the path. The successes you want in your life aren’t going to simply show up one day, you need to take responsibility for generating them.
Self-awareness needs self-direction. If you want to live a fully empowered life, you have to show up consistently with courage and choose to define who you are and how you will live for yourself. Stop waiting for others to validate your right to claim this space. When you are living in fear you are not present. You can’t hear or notice or participate.
A great first step strategy for re-defining your life comes from Brendon Burchard, Author of The Charge. Grab a pen and a sheet of paper. Begin generating a list of words (adjectives) that you would like to aspire to emulate in your life. Words like: courage, tenacity, generosity, presence. Once you have made the list, circle three that truly speak to how you want to live your life. How you want others to think of you. Define what it means for you and then live each day to that definition – to the best of your ability. Do a daily or weekly check in to evaluate your performance. How did you do?
Remember, there is no perfection in life – the universe only rewards us for taking action. Each day as you recommit to the process, your responses to change will grow in better alignment of who you really choose to be (in spite of the problems of the day).
Troy Media contributor Faith Wood is an internationally recognized behavioural strategist. She is the author of Life under the Limbo Bar.
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