7 Steps to Coping With Change

7 Steps to coping with change

7 Steps to coping with change

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 7 steps to coping with change

First a quick update:

“Coaches, counselors and therapists”
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“People pleasers are prone to cheating”
A people pleaser sets out to take care of everyone else’s need and not his/her own. A people pleaser also seeks the approval of others, and both of these issues can lead a people pleaser to cheat. Watch the video.

Now, let’s talk about the 7 steps to help you when coping with change.

You may have noticed the paradox in the development of children: children embrace change on a daily basis, often excited about new adventures, and yet children also need structure, routine and security to feel safe, grow and evolve in healthy ways.

Fast changes in the physical development of a child can also result in emotional and psychological stress – although, this is often the result of peer responses such as mocking, teasing or rejection.

Adults struggle with change because unless conscious effort is applied, an adult’s comfort zone will shrink the older he/she becomes, and accordingly he/she will cling desperately to the status quo.

Some change is welcomed – a promotion, a new relationship, a new possession. Other changes can take the form of loss – loss of job, finances, home or a relationship such as a breakup or divorce.

Gradual changes are usually the easiest for us to cope with because they create the least amount of resistance, and, we are given the opportunity to adapt.

The more sudden and dramatic the change, the greater the level of stress will be. And of course, our stress level is often entirely dependent on the way we perceive, process, and respond to the change.

Further below are 7 steps to help you cope with change. First, please note that if the change involves a powerful loss, then there is also a 6-step Grieving Process. 

Second, stress can take many forms and this is only a partial list of some of the symptoms and signs that you need to ask for help:

– Headaches
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Fatigue
– Overeating or Loss of Appetite
– Insomnia
– Mood Swings
– Poor Concentration
– Indigestion, Stomachaches, bowel problems, etc.
– Neck and Backaches
– Grinding Teeth at Night
– Alcohol or Drug Abuse
– Eating Disorders
– Heart Palpitations
– Loss of Sexual Desire

You can also determine the stress level of major life changes with this stress scale and determine its link to illness. Find out more

Before listing the 7 steps to coping with change, here is a list of potential benefits of change.

New opportunity
Is there a new opportunity here? List some positive aspects of the change.

Developing new skills
How does the change challenge you do develop new skills – cognitive, behavioral, physical and so forth?

Establishing priorities and enhancing self-awareness
The famous line from the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell is “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t what you’ve got till it’s gone…they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” When you are forced to change, you become aware of what is truly valuable to you and you learn more about what you want, need and desire.

Increased self-confidence
As you deal with the change, you become more self-confident and self-assured because you awaken to realize you can do it and you are stronger and more talented than you previously thought. You can be proud of successfully adapting and conquering the change.

Here are 7 steps to help you cope with change:

1. Adjust your perception and interpretation
Life is lived inside out – we view and respond to life based on our filters – the way we look at the world. Review the above list of benefits of change. Note that you are always interpreting events and sometimes your interpretations are faulty, inaccurate or even harmful to you! Remember you have the power of choice.  You may not have chosen the change. However, you can choose the way you will respond and interpret the event. Everything changes!

2. Clarification – consequences of the change
List what you believe to be the consequences of the change; what are the benefits and what are the disadvantages? Identify the perceived threats and opportunities.

3. Control
List carefully and thoroughly everything about the change, including the perceived threats. What can you truly control? Are you trying to control someone else? If so, you are wrong, you cannot control anyone else; you cannot change anyone else. You might have some control over a dependent such as a child but not over an independent adult.
List carefully and thoroughly every aspect, element and component of the change, which, you clearly can control.

4. Clarification – your current response and its consequences
List the ways you have been responding to the change, including all of your emotions. Begin here by accepting all of your emotions. Next, for how long do you choose to stay in those emotions?

List the consequences of the way you have been responding to the change.

5. Clarification – acceptance and action
Now that you are aware of what you can and cannot control as well as being aware of the consequences of your current responses, decide to accept what you cannot control and, decide to take action over everything over which you do have control.
Acceptance occurs when you determine what you are truly holding onto, and it is usually an ideal or ideology; sometimes it is a fantasy. For example, maybe you have a belief that two people that are married will always be together, no matter what; maybe your ideology is that a family must always stay together, no matter what – even if you or the other person is unhappy. Ask yourself sincerely are you expecting and demanding perfection of yourself, others and the world around you?

6. Support and insights
You are not the first person who has experienced this change and by reaching out to others for support you can learn how others have successfully handled this change in the past. Also, change naturally creates anxiety because of self-doubt and uncertainty; self-doubt (can I handle it?) and uncertainty (I am not sure what to expect.) Again, a support group or research over people who have experienced similar changes and challenges will help you to realize you can do it and/or what else you need to do it.

7. Hope
The greatest obstacle to embracing change and even conquering it is the loss of hope.
Hope refers to the anticipation and expectation of positive outcomes in spite of the change. Hope is the realization that everything will work out for the best (if you take the necessary action) and, that you will still be okay and happy once again.

Finally, as noted above, you may not have chosen the change. However, you can choose the way you will respond and interpret the event. Read about the way John Walsh whose 6 year-old son was abducted and decapitated, went from grieving father to crusader for justice. And, if you need more help to cope with the change, consider a one-on-one session with me. 

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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