“The only constant thing in life is change”.
This familiar quote sums up that nothing in life is static. Everything is in a state of constant flux and there’s nothing we can do to stop change. The whole world, countries, societies, companies and organizations must evolve and change to survive and so must every individual within them.
However the actual response to change and newness that occurs in the environment and the way one deals with its repercussions differ from individual to individual. Broadly, there seem to be three types of responses to change:
Resistance is one of the strongest reactions to change. However not all resistance to change is confrontational and direct. Resistance can also be passive in people who refuse to accept re-training or cannot accept new ideas and approaches. Extreme passive resistance can be seen in people who refuse to engage in any kind of dialogue with those who have proposed a change.
The individual who is indifferent to change, usually views change as something going on around them. The view of the indifferent person might be one of avoidance until some form of acceptance becomes absolutely necessary. The indifferent person often believes that his or her world will remain unchanged and that someone else will be affected or will do what is necessary. Apathy often accompanies this attitude to change with an “I can cope with it” mentality.
Openness and Receptivity:
These people are receptive to new ideas and prepared to embrace the reality of a situation recognizing what needs to be improved or done differently. It is not necessarily about the desire for change for its own sake. It is more of accepting the reality at a personal level.
Why do so many people respond so negatively to change?
In the short term, change can mean loss, discontinuity, and the destruction of a familiar and “safe” way of life…. “the good old days”. Basically change makes one leave their ‘comfort zone’ which many individuals find difficult to cope with. Consequently it can lead to feelings of insecurity, a lack of understanding, a lack of trust and fear of the outcome. And these perhaps are some of the key reasons that lead people to reject change.
However one must take into account and focus on the positive factors that change brings in. Positive elements of change can include the creation of a better set of circumstances, the fun of being involved in something different, the opportunities presented from a new venture or means of employment.
Since you can not avoid the stress of change and you do not want to isolate yourself from positive change, you must learn to control the way you respond to these new situations.
Some pointers you can adopt to minimize the impact of change:
- Recognize and accept your limits. Remember that everyone is unique and different.
- Become aware of your reactions to change and newness.
- Make plans, but “hold your plans loosely.” Develop plans, but know that they may have to be reworked or adapted to change.
- Take the long view; realize that change takes time and you should not force yourself to make it happen too quickly.
- Take conscious efforts to change your reaction to change. Cultivate a positive attitude towards change.
- Learn some relaxation techniques.
- Pay more attention to your diet.
- Include an exercise regime in your daily schedule.