Although everyone has experienced unpleasant or unwanted change, it often turns out for the better with the right attitude. Since change is often uncomfortable, it seems understandable when people resist change. Yet if we resist change, no one would ever improve! According to Professor George Kohlrieser1 from the International Institute for Management Development, “People do not naturally resist change. They resist the pain of change. They resist the fear of the unknown.”2
Life is Riddled with Change
Life is riddled with obstacles and change. Most long-term relationships have bumps in the road, new jobs require training, and with one catastrophic event, our financial security can dissolve. Life’s obstacles can be a surprise, or they can be on-going. Either way, this fourth and final part of the “Who Controls You?” series offers some help for confronting life changes head-on. As you implement some of the following tips, the pain of change can be mitigated when it comes.
Choose Worthy Goals
Despite the challenges that life may throw at you, remember that the only true failure is giving up on yourself. If you persist through your challenges, you will eventually become stronger than the obstacles you face. It is critical to only focus your commitment on worthy goals. Make goals that will help you become the best version of yourself and be patient in the process. Some goals take years to achieve but as long as you are making progress, then you are on your way!
Focus on the Positives
According to forbes.com, people who take time to be grateful are typically more successful in life and feel more invigorated throughout the day. Not all bad situations are negatives if you use them as learning opportunities.3 When new obstacles or changes come, just be ready to put on a smile and push through. Obstacles are meant to be learned from, and they will make it that much more rewarding when you accomplish your goals!
Take Care of Yourself
Your ability to think rationally, be fair to others around you, and confront change hinges on your personal energy level and clear mind. Experts from Sleep Science say that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day.4 You know what time you need to get up in the morning, so count backward and make it a priority to go to bed about 8 hours before you need to be awake. Even if they’re small, don’t skip meals. Keep up with good hygiene so you feel great.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt5
There is no faster way to feel inadequate or discontent than by comparing your situation to others. Instead, focus on the positive progress you have made toward your goals. If you don’t feel like you have made a lot of progress, that’s okay. We all start from somewhere. The important thing to focus on is what you are currently doing to make changes and overcome obstacles in your life, not worrying about being like someone else.
You Control You
Although the pain of change can be uncomfortable, focus on your long-term personal growth and face obstacles head-on. Despite the negativity bias6 that we are born with, it is possible to retrain your brain to respond more positively to negative events. In addition to responding more positively to things that are outside of our control, you can observe your emotions, thoughts, and behavior to recognize self-defeating lies and irrational thoughts. Acknowledging painful realities that we might hide from will make you more genuine and realistic with yourself and others.
It’s inevitable that some things in life get out of our control sometimes. Yet negative events or unfortunate realities don’t have to take away our happiness. Too often, we rob ourselves of happiness, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can remember one thing in the face of difficult challenges when things get out of control, remember that you control you!
This completes the fourth and final part of the series, “Who Controls You?”
If you missed any of the previous three parts, you can catch up by clicking these links:
1 WooCommerce, B. (2013). George Kohlrieser – Key Step Media. Key Step Media. Retrieved 7 November 2018, from https://www.keystepmedia.com/authors/george-kohlrieser/#.U0WNPl7BGMJ
2 Overcome Obstacles for Change. (2014). HuffPost. Retrieved 7 November 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-goleman/overcome-obstacles-for-ch_b_5119910.html
3 Pezold, S. (2018). Because Attitude Is Everything, Do These 8 Things. Forbes. Retrieved 7 November 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/paycom/2017/03/30/because-attitude-is-everything-do-these-8-things/#200330c923b3
4 Find Out Your Best Hours for Sleep Based on Your Biology and Your Life. (2018). Sleep.Org. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from https://www.sleep.org/articles/best-hours-sleep/
5 Comparing Quotes (27 quotes) . (2018). Goodreads.com. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/comparing
6 Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Woodward, A. (2008). Not all emotions are created equal: The negativity bias in social-emotional development. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 383-403. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.134.3.383