“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus
If change is inevitable, why do we avoid it? Why do we view change as a negative? Do we become so content in our present circumstance, that change becomes too difficult?
The key to surviving change is not preventing it. Trying to prevent it takes an awful lot of energy. Perhaps wasted energy if the impending change is inevitable.
Instead, let us equip ourselves and our children with the ability and resilience to adapt to change.
CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE
Change can actually be a beautiful evolutionary experience. Consider a caterpillar’s evolution. She is pretty cozy in her cocoon. Inside however, she is morphing, growing, changing and one day, emerges as a stunning and beautiful butterfly.
Much like the butterfly, adapting to change can be a positive force in our lives. We too are evolving beings. Growth and expansion is a wonderful trait afforded us. Change creates action and results. Change builds resilience. We will constantly learn, grow, and experience new things.
To embrace change, it can help to understand how we progress through change.
5 STAGES OF CHANGE
Virginia Satir’s Change Process Model describes 5 stages we often go through when experiencing significant change. It explains when and why we fear change. It can help us learn techniques to embrace change. Ultimately, defeating our fear of change leads to accepting change more readily.
- Stage 1 – Status Quo: This is our normal or accepted status where we are generally comfortable with the way things are.
- Stage 2 – Foreign Element: A point in time where a trigger or change agent is introduced.
- Stage 3 – Resistance and Chaos: This is where fear comes into play. We become fearful of uncertainty and how it will impact our lives.
- Stage 4 – Integration and Practice: After the change agent is used in practical application, we begin to establish familiarity. We become more comfortable as we realize we are safe and ok.
- Stage 5 – New Status Quo: The Foreign Element (change) has now become part of our new reality. We are comfortable again.
CHANGE AND WHAT WE CAN CONTROL
We cannot always control change. What we can control is our reaction to change.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What good can come from this change?
- What past change did I fear that actually turned out ok?
- Can I create a positive outcome from this inevitable change?
Consider a child whose family is moving to a new state. The child fears this change because:
- He’s leaving his friends
- He might not make new friends
- He won’t have his cool bedroom anymore
- He will miss playing sports with his buddies
What good can come from this change? He will get to totally redecorate a new bedroom his way.
What past change did he fear that turned out ok? When he moved from elementary to middle school, he feared all the new kids. But he met a new best friend in middle school.
Can I create a positive outcome out of this inevitable change? He will still get to visit his best friend in Colorado. And, his best friend will get to visit him in his new state and stay in his new cool room!
These examples may be over-simplified. Hopefully they spawn ideas for any impending change you or your child may fear.
You might find our previous article helpful: Thriving Through Life’s Transitions – How To Approach Change In A Health Way.
CONTACT CREATIVE COUNSELING CENTER
If you or a loved one are struggling with significant change, we would like to help. Our DTC therapists are trained and ready to guide you through the fears you may be experiencing. You never have to do it alone! We offer a Free Phone Consultation. All you have to do is complete the brief form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly. After learning more about your circumstances, we will be able to partner you with a therapist best suited to support you or your child. And because clicking with a therapist is important, we will do our best to match personalities too. If our practice is not the best fit, for whatever reason, we are happy to provide recommendations to area providers.