Use any life change as a time to strengthen yourself

Young couple stretching and relaxing after jogging outdoor.Green

It’s almost a new year; so use any upcoming change as an opportunity to challenge yourself. Some changes seem easier to deal with than others. But any change, no matter how small, will draw out some emotion in all of us, good or bad. The thought of it can  bring out fear or anxiety; and one change in any part of your life spreads out to affect many other areas. The impact can be significant and difficult to rebound.

You can’t always choose what happens to you in life, but you can choose how you handle it. The more you take charge, the easier it will be to deal with the things that happen in life that you are not prepared to manage.

We’re all thrown a curveball now and then
There are two ways to react to change; you can let it take control of you, or use it to help you get where you want to go.

Think about how you see change. Do you immediately feel overwhelmed by the situation, or see it as an opportunity? It may sound strange, but you increase your sense of control when you are open to change. Try to look at each change as an opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge.

Be proactive
Take the offense rather than the defense. Try taking calculated risks and then apply lessons learned from past experiences to similar challenges facing you.

Here are some suggestions that may help you improve your ability to be proactive:

  • Develop plans for managing the worst-case scenario that might result from a change.
  • Assess the risks by listing all of the pros and cons you can imagine.
  • If it’s at work: during meetings, ask questions and gather information and maintain an attitude of mutual respect for peers, employees, and managers.

Developing these characteristics further takes time and practice. Give yourself time.


Look on the bright side
Even though change can lead to many positive factors, a positive place is not always the first place your mind will go, especially depending on the type of change. Assuming the worst can filter your perception of any change.

Try to embrace change with enthusiasm. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, start making your plans around the positive aspects and, if there are negative aspects that need addressing immediately (e.g. job loss), plan to get towards the potential positive outcomes. For example,

  • Is there an opportunity for you to look for something you would actually enjoy?
  • If not, what steps will you take to get back into the job market quickly, e.g. update your resume and LinkedIn profile immediately, start networking, and if your company offers services you can use, use them, they can help.

Revise your thoughts about change
Look at your thoughts on change. It’s not necessarily the change itself that is stressful, but your view of it. Do you feel immediately overwhelmed by the situation or do you see it as an opportunity? The first step in managing the stress of change is to be aware of your perceptions.

Start by taking a look at how a change will have a positive impact on you. You may be surprised by the wonderful things that can come from dealing with the challenge of a situation you think is stressful.

  • Be open to the possibilities of self-development. Take a look at how you can benefit from the change, no matter how small the return. Will you acquire new knowledge and skills? Will you meet new people that might open you up to new things? Will this change enable you to remove some of the negative influences in your life? New events can provide the opportunity to grow in understanding yourself and others.
  • You may also feel motivated to find new support systems such as friends, family or coworkers. They can provide you with valuable feedback, help you confront difficult situations and encourage you to meet your goals. These people may be there for you long after you’ve integrated the change into your life.

You are important so take time for you
Stress is exhausting so try to remove some of the exhausting aspects of your life.

  • Are you a perfectionist? Expecting perfection is unrealistic and can add extra stress to an already stressful situation such as change. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Work smarter not harder. Work less by making lists, delegating tasks and saying no when you have too much on your plate. When you take on too much, you begin a stressful, self-defeating cycle of never achieving enough.
  • Feelings of guilt. Guilt adds stress. If you have unrealistic expectations of yourself, or if you like to make people happy, the result may be feelings of guilt if you don’t do something to expectations. It’s also okay to say no to things that you know you can’t manage or that will increase your stress level.

Remember to always take the time to look after yourself. Exercise, eat better, take vacations, laugh and spend time doing things you love.

26 replies »

  1. What a wonderful article Sam! Really touched on many important areas of change. I’d say the idea of being a perfectionist is a mistake made by many and a reason why people can’t take the necessary risks in life. I try to stay away from being that person although it is difficult at times to manage since I am a Capricorn and I have the tendency of being a perfectionist and doing it all myself but I manage well 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you very much Rudina! I agree 100% about being a perfectionist and like you, I am the same way. I work really hard not to be that person but it’s not that easy to let it go. Thanks for sharing your perspective (not just because it’s the same as mine hahaha) but for sharing your personal story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice write up Samantha. Lots of good information. Sometimes my dear ones get unhappy with me because I would like to keep things in an organized way at work and home as well. I am trying a lot to accept the difference, That would be my challenge in the coming days.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much Malini! It is a challenge for sure when you’re one way and others around you are different. I am also trying to balance out my way of doing things versus others. I might need you to come get me more organized! I It’s one of the things I’m working on. I welcome any tips 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so nice of you Sam! Anytime 🙂 I usually follow some simple things to keep everything on track,

        1. I usually take a mental note of my top most priority task one day before. Nowadays we got lots of cool apps to maintain reminders, notes to keep track of things.
        2. I don’t like to postpone things, If it takes a matter of some minutes, I prefer to finish it first. It totally depends on the need.
        3. Organizing usable stuffs are very important. I think many must be following the same. Most often stuffs should be placed easy to reach out and less often stuff should be placed pretty easy to find out with some notes or paste-it’s. It’s Very efficient and I don’t waste time on searching.

        Liked by 1 person

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