Afraid of Change? Check Out These Tips On How to Cope

Do you consider yourself afraid of change?

I mean the kind that represents something not chosen, something largely or solely outside of our control. The breakup, the loss of your job, the death of a friend or family member, for example.

Robert Taibbi, clinical social worker, offers some advice in a Psychology Today post about how to be less afraid of change. Below are his tips for coping, including excerpts from his explanations:

  • Expect to feel depressed and anxious. Whenever we move forward we leave something behind, and this creates a psychological state of grief, however small…We are out of our comfort zone; our imaginations run wild; we worry about an unknown future.
  • Realize that this is a new/old chapter in your life. While you need to acknowledge your loss, you don’t want to get stuck in the past. Acknowledging that a door is closed is psychologically healthy; spending your time staring at it is not.
  • Think positive, think opportunity. In the movie Up In the Air George Clooney played a character whose job is to fire people for companies that were downsizing. He always began his termination speech with  “I’m here to talk to you about new opportunities.” Is it a bit of spin, a bit forced – sure – but it is also true.
  • Hit the ground running. And don’t take too long to get started. We are creatures of habit and routine, and those routines can congeal quickly.
  • Get support. When you are feeling a bit ungrounded, support from others can help you keep perspective and moving ahead.
  • Have realistic timeframes and expectations.

AFRAID OF CHANGE: SOME PERTINENT QUOTES

Shrunryu Suzuki: “Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure.  But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it.  Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.”

Sydney J. Harris: “Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”

Eckhart Tolle: “Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

Roseanne Cash: “The key to change… is to let go of fear.”

Anatole France: “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

Victor Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

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