Change: Whether We Want it or Not

Written by Meredith Kimmel

October 7, 2020

I have talked a lot about change in my blog posts.  Change is the reason why most people come to coaching, whether they realize it or not.  However, most people are anxious and resistant to change and I hear a lot of my clients say, “I don’t like change”.

I have often said there are two types of change.  The change you want to make and the change that is forced upon you by the natural course of life. Lately, the most common example of the latter change is the Coronavirus.  Nobody wanted a global pandemic thrust upon them that changed every aspect of life.

Couple the Coronavirus with the fact that most people are resistant to change and we can see why people are really struggling.  This virus forced a lot of unwanted changes upon our society.  Suddenly we had to work from home, if we could.  We could not travel freely.  We were told to stay at home and not see friends and family.  I even knew people who had their flights cancelled just as they were getting ready to meet their newly born grandchildren for the first time. Our world was forced to take a pause and for the most part, we didn’t want to do that.

I have seen a lot of anger toward the Coronavirus on social media.  I have seen people lose their livelihoods.  I’ll admit, I have been very lucky, as I have been able to work this entire time.  I have been able to attend virtual networking groups and meet people from all over the world. I may not have been able to meet these people if networking hadn’t gone virtual.  I do know several people who got the virus and fortunately, they have all regained their health. 

Yes, I’m lucky.  But I think that there is more to it than luck. My positive attitude played into my outlook on the Coronavirus and the changes it has brought.  Trust me, I had my dark days and some negative thoughts, but we all have had those, and people who say they haven’t are likely lying. 

I have looked at the Coronavirus as an inconvenience, and I know that I can handle an inconvenience.  I also know that I can handle a tragedy.  I’ve handled both before, so I know my skill set.  I live in South Florida, and I have been without electricity for weeks after a hurricane.  Not having electricity is pretty much my limit, so as long as I have power, I’m good to go.  At the beginning of the quarantine, I knew that there was a very slim chance of Coronavirus knocking out my power, so I knew that I could handle the virus.

Change doesn’t need to be scary.  Change doesn’t need to be resisted.  The one constant thing about life is that it changes, and it changes a lot. What we need to do is embrace the changes in our lives.  We need to look at them positively, even if we don’t want the change. 

One of the exercises that I often do with my clients when they are talking about a change that they are resistant to is to ask them to make a list of positive changes that have happened for them. For example, moving, getting a promotion, getting married, or having a baby.  When they are able to realize the positives from those changes, they are able to correlate a good outcome to what they have been previously resistant to.

Once my clients do this, they lose their resistance to the change and they are able to move forward.

Change doesn’t need to be scary.  Change doesn’t need to be resisted.  Rather, change needs to be understood and deconstructed.  Change needs coping mechanisms. We are all equipped for change, because we humans are very resilient.

I encourage you to have a positive attitude. Face each change head on and do your best with it.  If your strategy doesn’t work, make a course correction and try a new strategy.  You can do this.  You are equipped for it.

Embrace the change, for life doesn’t happen without it. Even if the change seems scary, good will come out of it on the other side.

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