Do I have to Change?

I was mid-way through writing another blog post about “change” and how this affects us all, and coincidentally since started that I have had several chats with friends, family and clients all about big (and some small) changes that each person is making to their lives or something that has forced them to make changes.  Some greeted these things with excitement, some with major anxieties.  For every one of them it brought about different emotions that they found alien in some way.

Not all change is created from a positive place and can often be a forced decision thrown upon us – such as bereavement, financial changes, health issues, relationship changes, redundancies and other workplace changes.

However some changes are positive and driven by us to either develop a situation or to escape/remove ourselves from a toxic place or person.

Personally, I feel that all change is important, even when it’s beginning is from a less positive place.  As humans we need change to help us evolve, develop and grow, and it’s often what makes us stronger and resilient.

Change allows us the chance to evolve and to enter through those open doors which we were either unable to see or to enter previously.  It may involve making radical changes to behaviour, habits and skills – and it’s only natural to fight some of these or to feel scared that you cannot do it.

The unknown can be a scary place and full of anxieties beginning in a much darker place but it can eventually lead to better self-belief and confidence once we come out on the other side.  Embrace the darkness and accept it for what it is (loss, grief etc) and you will in your own time come out the other side, albeit a slightly different person.

And if the change stems from leaving a negative environment we are offered the chance to breathe and see clearly again. It’s often difficult to notice the effect toxic people and places have on our mental and physical health until either they are away from you or you are away from them/that place.

With change what also comes is acceptance.  And once this is present things seem much clearer and easier to deal with.  However, acceptance is not something that can always arise easily and make take a lot of time and work to acquire – be kind to yourself during this time.

Many people try to block out the emotions linked with changes that have been created from a negative issue, such as loss of a loved one.  They bury their emotions deep inside as a way to protect themselves and even talking about the person becomes harder and harder.  Self-protection is important but eventually one day (even decades later) these emotions will need to come out and this may be in a totally unexpected and unpredictable way – either mentally or physically.

Find your own way to cope with the associated anxiety and stress that comes with changes to your life.  Some meditate, practice yoga/pilates, run, bake, garden, paint, socialise, seek counselling, go for treatments like reflexology, aromatherapy, acupuncture etc.

And I'm sure there are some of you reading this screaming at me, something like "you don't know what I've been through" or "it isn't that easy".  And I agree, I don't know what you've been through, nor what marks this has left on you and your life.  My life has been a constant mill of change, and I can only speak from both my personal and professional experience about what this means.  Below is a bit more about my experiences.

My Positive change

I remember when I quit employed work to become self-employed full time as a practitioner and I went off on a well deserved holiday before starting up my business.  I was enjoying the sunshine and swimming and then suddenly I stopped in the middle of the swimming pool and had a mild anxiety attack as I was hit by the reality of the major change in my life that was in front of me.  It only lasted about 5 minutes, but I needed that panic and then the reality of this major change to sink in and be absorbed at that time to give me to opportunity to move on.  It hasn’t always been easy, but I haven’t looked back since.

My Negative changes

Since childhood I’ve experienced constant major changes in my life including moving country/home, death of loved ones (far far too many close family members since I was 3 years old to the present day), relationships, career changes and more.  I know that a lot of this has left marks on me, but it has also allowed me to grow as a person and every time these changes occur they have helped me become stronger, more empathetic, less resistant to changes and more independent.  Of course there are many other negative changes in my personal and professional life, but this is just one example.

That’s not to say I don’t have moments of total stress and anxiety and then lose my head, because I do.  I’m only human and everyone has their breaking point.  I allow myself to sink into the emotions as I know I’ll rise up again and be ok.

What about you?

  • How do you respond to change?
  • Was it from a house move, a major change in career, end of relationships, result from loss?
  • Was this your decision?
  • How do you deal with your emotional balance that comes from change?
  • Do you think you have reached acceptance (remember this can take years to get to)?

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