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As a human being, what is one of the scariest things that we can encounter? Some of the first things that come to mind are an animal attack, death, flying and a ton of other things. However, one thing that strikes fear for just about anyone is the fear of change.
I will state a few observations and I want you all to think about whether they are true. In general, people tend to like routines. They like being in control of their surroundings and what happens in their daily lives. There could be people in your life who avoid situations that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable. You may know someone who has talked about a dream of theirs for months or years but have yet to take action.
My best guess is that you may know someone like this or this person is you. As humans, it is important to recognize the fact that change is hard. We tend to stick around in situations longer than needed whether it is a job, a relationship, a city, etc. The thought of change brings on a type of anxiety that can immobilize us from reaching our full potential. The thought of change will bring on a whole host of crazy “what if” scenarios that most likely won’t come true.
Responses to Change
Despite this anxiety, it is important to recognize that change is inevitable. You may have a relationship whether familiar, platonic, or romantic that will fail. Your company may downsize and you may get laid off or close completely. Maybe you have a child who is about to graduate high school and is thinking about going off to college. Whatever your situation in, you will encounter change from time to time in your life.
When this happens, there are three responses to the change. You can run away and avoid the change, pretend it isn’t happening, or embrace the change. Unfortunately, the former two responses doesn’t address the change in your life. You are likely going to create additional problems by not taking on the change directly.
What I suggest for you all is to take on the challenge that any change brings. I know it is scary but it is important to be realistic in our expectations of life. Life happens fast and something drastic could happen at any moment.
Personal Experience with Change
Personally, I have dealt with my fair share of change over the last few years. The following changes have happened over the course of the last five years:
- 2015: At the beginning of the year, I officially cut ties with someone who I was in a previous relationship. Later, I met my wife and I lost both of my maternal grandparents only months apart.
- 2016:I decided to go to graduate school. I switched jobs twice (I left my old job and eventually came back later that year). I decided to start the process of learning a new language.
- 2017:I had to stop teaching full-time to do my internship and a few weeks into it I found out that I was going to be a father.
- 2018: I graduated with my master’s degree and 5 days later my daughter was born. One month later, we moved to Virginia from our family and friends with a 6 week old child so I could start my new job as a high school counselor.
- 2019: My wife and I got married. Later, we moved again to Columbus, Ohio after spending a year in Virginia.
- 2020: PANDEMIC (enough said). Helping my wife navigate the challenges of finding different jobs during the pandemic. I also started the Supportive Fathers blog during this time.
Everything I have listed are major life changes that have happened. Despite the major ones, there are constant little changes that happen all the time. I am not suggesting I am perfect in dealing with these changes, but I have suggestions that I want to list to help you all if you struggle with this.
How to Deal with Change
Make a Plan Surrounding the Change
My first suggestion for you all is to create a plan. Whether it is a death in the family or a big move, putting together a plan is critical on how to have an idea how you will handle your new situation. Setting a goal for each step of the way is critical for the success of your new transition.
Keep Expectations Realistic
One thing that I will ask is to not expect everything to go perfect. There will be setbacks. There will be life situations that may take precedence in your life. Do not get discouraged if things do not go the way you expect them to the first time. If you give up, you will not be able to reach the goals you have set.
Execute the Plan
You have now come to the crossroads of facing your new reality. You have put together a plan that you believe will lead you to success. Whatever you do, don’t abandon the plan you have created. It is downright frightening to put everything in motion but I know you are brave and strong enough to move forward.
After starting your plan, take some time to reassess how the plan is going. Did things go as you expected or even better? If so, continue to move forward with what you are doing.
Did something unexpected pop up? Take some time to take a step back and figure out a way to overcome that new obstacle. You are more resilient than you could ever imagine to deal with any setbacks.
Are you stuck with a problem you can’t figure out in your new reality? Are you struggling while coping with challenges? Find a friend or even professional to confide in about the problem.
Asking for help is a sign of strength. It is actually an admirable leadership quality that your family and friends will see. When you do this, you are communicating that everything may not be okay BUT you are willing to take the steps to fix any issues.
We often get caught up in the anxiety of the change we have encountered. Don’t forget to take time and smell the roses. It is important to bond with those who are supporting you through your journey. Say thank you to everyone who has helped you. After all, you will likely look back on it all in the future and give yourself a pat on the back for your resiliency.
Change is going to happen. Whether it was thrust upon you or you were actively seeking it, this is a 100% percent fact. It is up to you to decide on what your response is. I suggest to everyone that we embrace this as an opportunity for growth. Figure out a way to navigate a path that will lead you and your family to a better outcome through a number of different steps that I have outlined above.
What are your experiences with change? Do you have any suggestions for our readers? Please comment down below any suggestions that you may have in regard to change.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.