Adapting to Change..

The one thing that never changes about life, is that there is change. So, finding ways to adapt is a skill worth developing. Especially with all that is going on in the world currently and we are experiencing more change than ever. Here are some helpful tips:

Know that everything and everyone is changing:

The faster you get used to the idea that everything is unstable and is constantly changing, the easier you will adapt to new challenges in your life. A person that you have known for your entire life may not be the same after he or she returns from a long trip. Your best friend that you have not spent time with since your childhood may now look at life in a completely different way. Accepting this is in and of itself a great way to deal with change.


Focus on your self-growth:

Change is good for your personal development. The reason is that if you only do the same things every day without looking for ways to introduce new techniques in your life, you will also stay the same. That makes it much harder for you to grow in a spiritual, intellectual, and emotional way.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Anonymous

Begin preparing yourself for future opportunities. Learn new skills, practice something different, declutter your mind, and give yourself a much-needed confidence boost.

Embrace the change:

Sudden change can bring feelings of dread and shock. It is important to find a place of acceptance after the initial shock of the situation wears off and face it head-on. You need to understand that life is an ongoing work in progress and you need to keep moving to thrive.

Stop trying to control the uncontrollable. Just accept change as it is and start enjoying it. Go with the flow, be more flexible and have a more positive frame of mind. By embracing change in your life, you will deal much more easily with stressful situations. Think of how many positive opportunities it will bring you to once you get through it!

Be emotionally intelligent:

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”- Stephen Hawking

Emotional intelligence is obviously one of the most important aspects of adaptation because, without it, one has no direction to go in when attempting to adapt. Now, people certainly don’t need to have intelligence in the school-taught sense, they just need to be able to look at a situation and apply analytical, creative and practical intelligence. One needs to be able to analyse the situation to some extent to come up with a basic understanding of what’s going on. Then the creative and practical intelligence needs to be used to come up with possible solutions about how to handle the problem of adaptation.

Emotional stability is also important because, in a new situation, adaptation will be hindered if one is unable to overcome feelings like anxiety and fear. If unable to keep those emotions in check, it will be difficult to overcome them and adaptation will become even more challenging.

With that comes the importance of confidence. Confidence is a great help when dealing with emotions like anxiety because one will be able to stand in a situation and know, “I can do this”; regardless of whether or not one is successful in the end, that mentality will at least drive a person to try, even in the face of uncertainty. Without the motivation to try, it’s impossible to adapt.

Face your fears:

The biggest fear of change is unknown. Time and experience usually solve this. The best way to prepare and adapt though is to visualise where you want to be in the future. Focus on new chances and possible opportunities that can be the result of the change. New friends? Places that you would like to visit as things slowly go back to normal

“The key to change … is to let go of fear.”– Rosanne Cash

Fear can hinder your personal growth. A good idea is to start focusing on values instead of fears. This way you can create a surprisingly powerful buffer against whatever troubles may be ailing you.

Change your perspective:

Change can be uncomfortable at times, sometimes even painful but it helps you grow. It can usher in new ideas, change your perspective, understand diversity, and expose you to unknown things.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”– Norman Vincent Peale

Try to channel any negative emotions to the positive ones. Reframe them. Express yourself in a creative, positive way. Write out how you are feeling and start creating a future career plan (for example). Write down your goals, ideas, and new schedule.

Support is important:

Other people’s’ journeys can be an inspiration. They are more objective, and you can take solace in the fact that you are not alone. You can even find a mentor in that person.

Connect with new people, expand your network, and nurture new and current relationships. This is a great time to seek support and encouragement from others.

If you are trying to find a new job, find groups and activities of similar interest. This will give you an opportunity to meet like-minded people. Take time to explore opportunities that you might want to make part of your new stomping grounds. Tell people about your change and ask them for advice. Most people like to help others in new situations. Go online, as you have done here and virtually explore and seek advice.

Be open-minded:

Take a deep breath and allow yourself time to adjust. It takes time to adapt after a wholesome change, so give yourself time. Acknowledge the situation as temporary and be open to change and growth.

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”– John F. Kennedy

Change is part of our growing process and if you look back on where you have come from, there are many changes that brought you to where you are now. There is no reason to believe that you will not feel the same way in the future.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself:

When it seems like you don’t have control over what is happening, it’s easy to forget about your well-being, or even feel selfish doing something good for yourself. But it’s even more important to be vigilant about self-care during times of uncertainty.

“Things you don’t expect come up, and you have to adapt. You can’t let it throw you off. You have to cope. Those are all really valuable skills, in life and racing.” – Mikaela Shiffrin

When we give 110% (i.e. more than we have) and never take time to replenish and rest, we end up depleted. Make a point to eat and sleep well, and get enough exercise – it’s a fine mood enhancer. It might seem challenging initially. Bute verything will get easier as you develop.

Be more reflective:

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” – Isaac Asimov

If you want a happier, more productive, you might need to be more empathetic. But you can’t be empathetic toward others without being empathetic toward yourself first.

Try fitting in 15 minutes of reflection to the end of your day. It makes you more effective. Harvard Business School psychologist Francesca Gino found that taking just 15 minutes to write and reflect at the end of the day could make you 22.8% percent more productive than those who don’t.

Believe in yourself:

Find your strength and acknowledge even the small successes. Persistence is the key here – work hard and believe in yourself, and you will achieve what you set your mind to.

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”– Niccolo Machiavelli

Successful people draw strength from tough times. If they fall off their horse, they pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get back on the saddle. You have the choice to live confidently or insecurely. Choose wisely.

Practice gratitude:

This requires accepting what is and being present in the now. We’re deluded if we think that everything is going to be the same tomorrow as it is today – change can happen in a split second. If you know change is coming, consider it a privilege. Too many people don’t have that luxury.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

May your new path be happy and full of exciting prospects and may you look back and see that the change that you made was positive. If it is not, well then, you might need to change a few things…knowing what you want is the best place to begin.

Employ some or all of these points to help you cope with and relish the change that is all around you right now.

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