Change – we want it and resist it

woman going through a career change
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Everything is changing all the time – for the better and for the worst. Change happens continuously and consistently in each and everyone’s life, at work and at home and yet, most of us resist change. Why?

What stops us from relaxing into change and enjoying what comes next?

Most of the time it’s fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of our own potential, fear of rejection. We like to hang on to what is known and familiar. We like to stay in our comfort zone because it’s safe; it gives us security; it protects us from failure and rejection – the very things many of us fear most.

Although this can be a good thing, it can also leave us feeling stuck or stagnant in life, and when we suppress our inherent need to grow as a person, we can begin to experience low moods, anxiety and even depression.

Change – an intrinsic part of life

The purpose of life is to unfold our full potential, to expand our comfort zone into ever widening circles. Developing as a person means being willing to be open and to relax into change knowing that change is an intrinsic part of life, that change is life itself.

How to feel comfortable with change

When we turn towards change, relax into it, then life becomes meaningful. The meaning comes from making the effort to expand our comfort zone and feel the fear.

Here are some tips to help you to turn towards change:

Listen to your feelings when you go through change

Pause, breathe and become aware of how you feel about the change that is happening. Are you feeling scared, frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed? Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel like this. Just sit and acknowledge how you feel without wanting to get rid of the uncomfortable or difficult feelings or allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by them.

Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change

i) Listen to the part of you that feels resistant. This is generally the part of us that feels fearful. Ask yourself: “What am I resisting”, i.e. what do you not want to happen? Often the answer is. “I don’t want to fail; I don’t want people not to like me etc.” You can reassure yourself by asking: “How likely is it that I will fail?” Or, “How do I know that people will not like me anymore?”

ii) Listen to what you need in times of change and stretch yourself in a way that feels manageable to you. It’s okay to take small steps to explore new territory outside our comfort zone.

Develop a support system

Have other people with whom you can share the ups and downs of change. A trusted colleague, mentor or close friend. We don’t’ have to do it all alone. Choose people who you know well, who have your best interest at heart, who will listen to you; perhaps someone who has gone through change themselves.

Karen Liebenguth featuredAbout the author

Karen Liebenguth is a qualified coach and MBTI facilitator. She has been working with individuals and teams for 10 years to foster personal and professional development, mental resilience and positive emotion.

She specialises in coaching while walking in green space tapping into the beneficial impact nature has on our physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Karen is also an accredited mindfulness teacher. She offers tailored mindfulness programs for the workplace as well as knowledge and guidance to help create a culture of wellbeing.

For more information and to arrange an initial free coaching conversation, please visit: www.greenspacecoaching.com

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