No matter how you try to avoid it, change is inevitable. Life has a way of keeping us on our toes. There will be months or years of tranquility, and then all of a sudden, it’s chaos! Now your world is morphing, merging, separating, and sometimes transforming in an instant!
Furthermore, we’re born with a change dodging mechanism in our brains called the subconscious. It’s covert yet enormously influential over your life and daily habits. It will keep you stuck in your comfort zone rather than attempt to achieve a life-changing goal. But, more on that later.
The world won’t stop just because you want everything to stay the same. Change can be a painful process, even if it’s a positive change! Like a promotion or a new baby. But if you learn how to handle it, your life will be infinitely more enjoyable no matter what happens!
Even new positive situations make us uneasy. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing; that’s how our mind responds to any change. After you adjust to it and accept your new life, it’s mind-blowing how wonderful it can be.
Sometimes, growing pains can feel like you’re failing at life, and everything is falling apart. I know all about it. But what is happening is you’re becoming a better, more powerful version of yourself even though it doesn’t feel that way.
That is if you handle the transformation right.
You can’t be the same person and live your dream life. No, you must mold yourself to be better for you to live on that level. But it’s all right; I’m about to show you how to do that.
The 4 phases of change:
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”—Stephen Hawking
First, it’ll help to be aware of the phases you’ll go through during any transformation. The faster and smoother you transition through them, the better!
Phases of change #1 Shock, fear, and confusion
The initial stage of change feels like you’ve had the air knocked out of you. You may feel stunned, paralyzed, or even numb. It’s hard to believe what is happening. If you need to, call up a friend and talk about it. Talking might calm you down and help you to make sense of it all.
Phases of change #2 Anger or depression
Soon after, the first phase of change will be the emotional rollercoaster. You’ll feel a sense of loss and sadness for your former life. If you let it fester, you could boil over in anger. The next day you feel great, but soon, you’re upset again! What is going on here? Don’t worry; you’re not going crazy. It’s normal. Change is hard!
Our subconscious wants us to stay the same and keep our lives from changing. So you change something in your routine, it throws a temper tantrum. It will give you a plethora of unpleasant emotions until you go back to your comfort zone. These feelings are normal, so allow yourself to feel them. But don’t allow them to steer you astray. Besides, those feelings will fade after you do that activity several times. Rest assured, things are about to get much better!
Phases of change #3 The mindset shift from loss to gain
Next, your attention moves from grieving the loss of your past to imagining what incredible things are to come! However, it will still fluctuate back and forth. For you to reach this phase, you’ll need to focus on the potential positive outcomes of this transformation.
You might not see them at first, but they exist! Have patience with yourself, and don’t fight against the processes. Otherwise, it’ll take much longer.
Phases of change #4 Accepting the change as your new life
Finally, you stop resisting and accept the change! This is when everything flows, and you no longer struggle to swim against the heavy currents of life. Life will always win. It’s filled with things you can’t control, so the sooner you accept this and stop resisting it, the better! Acceptance allows you to stop worrying and feeling miserable. Instead, you go with it and move on with life!
These phases of change aren’t effortless, but they can be more tolerable with the following tips.
Here’s how to get through change and emerge a new person:
1. Accept the new change and make the best out of it
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
When your world is spinning out of control, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, make the best out of it. Luckily, altering your reaction is always in your power!
For instance, in World War II, the Nazis seized psychologist Viktor Frankl from his home. They imprisoned him in the infamous Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz. There he was surrounded by loss, suffering, and death. But Viktor knew that the Nazis could never control his attitude if he didn’t allow them to. Although he was trapped in a horrific situation, he was eternally free in his mind.
Luckily, he did survive and went on to live a good life. I highly recommend his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” (affiliate link) about his experiences. It’s like a rare behind the scene history lesson from a perspective you don’t hear about much. Although it’s heartbreaking and rough to get through, it’s eye-opening and inspiring to read about the human spirit’s extraordinary strength amidst heinous situations.
If he can do it, then no matter what situation you’re in, you always have the ability to shift your attitude and perspective. Therefore, you can have a good time in any case! I suggest you choose to have fun and to make the best of what you have now.
2. Get plenty of rest
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
—Norman Vincent Peale
It can be hard to believe what’s happening when everything is changing. If you start stressing out, take a nap and let your unconscious sort it out. Also, it’ll give you some time to let go and relax. Each time you wake up, you’ll feel more accepting of the change.
3. Avoid social media
The news and social media can be ablaze with fearmongering and lies, shut it down. There’s no use in obsessing about things you can’t control. Take a break from the chaos and get involved in something beneficial like a hobby or taking a walk.
4. Make a goal list
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
Use this time to write a list of things you want to accomplish. Goals will keep your mind occupied with something constructive and encouraging. Whereas worrying about unfortunate events will tear down your well-being. Having something to strive for will make you feel great about yourself despite what you’re going through.
5. Write down the positive aspects of this change
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Change is hard, but it also brings a wondrous new world filled with possibilities! For example, if someone leaves you, you have room for a better person to take their place. That wouldn’t be possible until the first person left, so be grateful they did! Plus, you learned valuable lessons about what you do or don’t want in your next relationship.
Even if someone dies, it can be a good thing because now they’re free and aren’t suffering in pain anymore. We often want to hold on to them forever, but they aren’t here anymore. You’ll only torture yourself for a lifetime if you stubbornly refuse to let go. Furthermore, I’m sure they would hate to see you do that to yourself.
6. Focus on self-care
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
—George Bernard Shaw
It’s in the difficult times that you need to take care of yourself the most. Otherwise, each day can feel unbearable. So, relax, eat food that fills you with life, meditate, exercise your anxieties away, or spend some time in nature. It seems very hippy-tastic, but it works!
Also, every time you start feeling worried or frustrated, do 15-25 pushups. It’s a quick way to burn up frustrations, anger, or sadness. Plus, you’ll get a boost in much-needed feel-good chemicals!
In short, humans are incredible at adapting to massive changes. Although it feels horrendous at the time, eventually, you’ll become much more resilient and wiser for it. If you can power through these tough times, you’ll reap the benefits afterward!
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