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Overcoming Difficulties that Come with Change

Nanette V. Hucknall

August 25, 2022

In my work as a therapist, I often work with people approaching or embarking on periods of change and transition in all elements of their lives. In my experience, it is often easier for my clients to come to the conclusion that they are willing to make a change and even to decide what that change should be. It is in the implementation stage where we most often encounter the most resistance. 

Why is it that once we have acknowledged the necessity for change, and even that direction of that change, rather than being filled with the momentum of our decision, we should then become stuck? Moving an idea from concept to fruition, no matter how assured you may be in its necessity, means that you are tasked with introducing what was once a thought experiment into the real, dynamic realm of your material life. 

What you are likely to encounter almost immediately is the varied reactions of your friends and family. Those in your orbit who would be affected by this change will instantly have a personal reaction to your update. Your partner, for instance, might experience change as a signal of insecurity, and react in accord with this inherent fear. Whatever reaction your decision elicits from your circle of trust, will likely require you to expand your capacity for mindful communication, transparency, and understanding. Changes are best managed with the support of those close to you, so taking the time for thoughtful discussion can be a huge help to you, and those around you, across the entire length of the transition.   

For many of us, stepping into a moment of change may require our asking for the help of others, which may make us feel insecure or inadequate. If you struggle with asking for help, consider this time as an opportunity to relate to step into a time of great inter-connectivity. If you are someone others typically rely on, be conscious of what emotions arise within you as these roles change. As an extension of this practice, you may even have to set new boundaries to make space for what is required of you to realize your new goals. Are you able to turn to your circle of friends and family and express your new limited capacity? Consider how this feels and continue to keep an eye on your relationships over time. 

This brings us to prioritization. Making changes in your life usually requires your needing to rearrange not just your priorities but how you spend your time. This means making very real and somewhat mundane choices within the everyday moments of your day-to-day life. For instance, if you are returning to school, this likely means the time for studying will greatly impede everything from your relationship to hobbies you may enjoy, to quality time with loved ones. Set your intention and be sure to stay diligent as you make choices in how you manage your time. 

Lastly, and perhaps most obviously, change can be a source of stress and discomfort. No matter how eager you may be to move on to a new era, there remains in us a constant fear of the unknown. During this period it’s important to take care of yourself physically.  Eat wholesome meals and get plenty of rest and exercise. Find joy in your new habits and celebrate small wins. While we are always “serious” about our objectives, we strive to always keep a light-hearted touch on all aspects of our lives. 

The attitude that you take when approaching change is critical to the success of your endeavor. If your new plan excites and inspires you, hold on to those feelings in moments that are more tedious and challenging. Through your attitude, you have the power to transform difficulties into victories. Change can challenge our spirit but it can also invigorate us. Maintaining that light-hearted, uplifted state of mind cannot just help you manage change but help you do so with joy. 

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