We may drag our feet about following the new office policy. We find all the ways the new used car that we need, won't fit our budget. We research 25 different online savings account options, trying to uncover any hidden fees, only to not open any savings account at all. We put off telling our families about a recent decision that they may not understand.
Yes, we want change. But we want change to happen easily. Seamlessly. With no hurt feelings, no awkward moments, and the full support of everyone around us. I mean, who wouldn't want that?
But sadly, change is met with resistance. As hard as it is for us to accept change in our life, something that we want very badly, it's often harder for others in our lives to accept and embrace those decisions of change. And their reactions can scare us from doing the thing that we really want to do.
Meet what I call…
The Hamlet Syndrome
What can you do to help make change easy when you're announcing a change?
- Make sure that you're committed to the change before you share it. This will make it easier for you to handle the “storm” that often accompanies change.
- Keep in mind that people will flip and flop their opinions during periods of change. Being at peace with your decision will help keep your distress minimal while they come to accept it.
- Recognize that while some changes can happen overnight, but transitions take longer. Transition is the time span it takes to adjust and mentally accept change. Think of it as a process, not an event.
- Time makes things better. The news of change is often a shock, especially when people had no idea that “considerations” were taking place. Allow them time to process it.
- Try to allow them to share their concerns and frustrations without taking personal offense. Try to offer them a listening ear if you're able. If you find that you can't, that's OK. Redirect them to someone who can better meet that need.
Or, if you find yourself trying to understand and accept a new change, try these tips:
- Write down your thoughts privately before attempting to voice them to the person behind the change. It can help you know what should and shouldn't be said. It can also help you identify what your fears and concerns really are.
- Find a trusted friend outside of the situation. Open up with them. This will make for a better conversation with the other person later.
- Give yourself some time. Expecting yourself to “be on the band wagon” immediately may not be realistic.
- Make a pro's and con's list. Allow yourself to look at things from a different angle.
- Think before you speak (or write or share in cyber space). This can save you some grief and heartache later!
In parting, here are two thoughts on the challenges of change in our lives:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Victor Frankl
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France
Change is stressful! If you'd like an extra dose of support and insight to help you or a loved one through a transition, sign-up for the free e-course, 7 Surefire Stress Busters for Women. These tips will help you undergo the changes and transitions in your life!