Coping with Change

Let’s be honest here (and you probably know by now that I’m well in touch with my Honesty Imp), coping with change is never easy.

Change is something that sends our Inner Imps Laziness, Fear and Doubt into instant anaphylactic shock. They’re mega allergic to it and will quickly band together to persuade you to avoid it. I mean come on… everything is great how it is with everything tootling along in its familiar, comfortable way isn’t it?

It’s this comfort and routine that is often our biggest enemy.

Because we’re comfortable and secure in what we know, when something unexpected comes a knocking, we tend to end up in an all out flap. And woe betide you if the change is intentional because you want to go for a new goal, change a habit or push your boundaries a bit – intentional change will have Courage, Self-Discipline and Persistence joining in the head-banging and a nuclear melt-down of Inner Imps will ensue.

Because unexpected change does creep up and yell BOO at us all at some point in our lives (and as a CANDoer with attitude we want you to embrace intentional changes that will help you get your sparkle on), I figured I’d share a CANDoable that makes use of some of the principles for dealing with change. It’s good stuff that’s valuable to keep in mind and adapt to whatever situation you might find yourself in.

CANDo Life Skills CANDoable:

Step 1 – Stop, Breath & ACCEPT

It’s natural to want to stick your head in the sand and hope that whatever is upsetting your particular apple-cart will bugger off but, quite frankly, you, me and everyone else on the planet knows this isn’t the best coping strategy out there. What does work when change bites ya bum is to STOP panicking, take a minute or ten and breathe. You need to calm everything down so you’re not tempted to act in emotional haste. Once you’ve done this stop fighting and ACCEPT that change is happening and that everything will be okay. You’re a capable person and can handle this step by step – besides which, this time next year you’ll have completely forgotten what had you in such a panic! If the change is unexpected, and time allows, I’ve always found it a good idea to delay action for a day or two (but no more or you’ll be burying your head again). This gives you and your Inner Imps time to have all the emotional outbursts and then start to think and tackle what needs to be done to adjust to the change without the emotions getting in the way… too much!

Get Honesty to Have a Word in Fear’s Shell-Like

In the same way as everyone has a different pain-threshold, everyone’s Inner Imp Fear has a different fear-threshold. Some can move house or change jobs without losing a wink while others need to have a lie down every time they change their underpants! Fear blows things out of all proportion and will quickly have you imagining quite preposterous things that will have your Courage going into hiding.  I recommend gathering together the facts and then getting your Honesty Imp to have a word and keep Fear and Doubt’s mumblings real. Most of the time, most of the thing’s Fear and Doubt are having a hissy fit about won’t happen.

Misery Likes Company – Well So Does Change!

Find someone who’s already experienced this change or can view it objectively. If you can discuss things every step of the way, you can share any of Fear’s little tantrums, receive encouragement and often get a much need injection of unemotional logic to keep things in perspective.

Have a Clear Plan and Communicate

Be clear about the change, what’s required, responsibilities, time scale, etc., and make sure that everyone involved is kept in the loop. If the change affects you and your partner, make sure you’re pulling in the same direction and have taken into account all the wobblies his/her Inner Imps are throwing too. Set aside as much time as everyone involved needs to discuss both the practical and emotional sides.

Anticipate Problems

If there are likely to be problems or weak areas in a plan, I always like to try and foresee them and come up with a Plan B that offers me an acceptable alternative. By doing this, you’ll be much more able to keep stress levels to a minimum.

Practice Makes Perfect

Often unexpected change unnerves us because things have been tootling along a little too comfortably and regularly for a while and we haven’t be pushing ourselves with intentional, life-improving change. The coping with change life skill is a muscle that needs exercising in the same way as all your other life skills; the more you use it, the stronger, more effective and confident it becomes. Over time this life skill will develop “muscle memory” and Team You and your Inner Imps will more readily accept that they CANDo it and cope when something unexpected crops up – all this is metaphorically speaking of course. Honesty will remember to go in immediate search of facts, Courage will remember to stand up to Fear and Doubts little tantrums and Self-Discipline is likely to much more adept at cracking his whip to make sure all the Inner Imp players on Team You are pulling their weight.

Change really is CANDoable if you grab Courage and learn to cope with change with style.

How do you cope with change?

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