Change is both personal and universal.
Everyone goes through changes and transformations.
We are born. We grow old.
What sets us apart is how we experience change.
1. Personality of Change
How we perceive the world has a significant impact on how we experience change.
Type A vs. Type B
Individuals with a Type A personality experience change differently from individuals with Type B personality.
Type A individuals often experience more difficulty with change because of time urgency and a heightened need to control the situation.
While individuals with a Type B personality are more laid back and relaxed and thus find it easier to go with the flow.
Optimists vs. Pessimists
Pessimists and optimists also view change through a different lens.
Pessimists perceive change as permanent and a traumatic end to everything.
While optimists are more likely to see change as temporary and an opportunity for new beginnings and growth.
Can Optimism Be Learned?
2. Circumstances of Change
Another determinant in how we experience change is whether the change was by chance or by choice.
For example, for some people divorce is liberating, while for others it is the end of their world.
The same can be said for the workplace.
The reaction to change will be different for someone who chooses to retire five years early to spend more time with family, in contrast to someone who is laid off abruptly without notice.
It’s not change, it’s the circumstances that surround it.
Anchor Yourself During Rapid Change
3. Fear of Change
We resist change because we fear the unknown.
We never know what’s around the corner and this is made worse when it is a painful change.
As a result, we erect roadblocks and create chaos to slow change down.
This is the illusion of control that is often associated with resistance to change.
Resistance to change comes in many forms including psychological defense mechanisms proposed by Sigmund Freud:
The problem with resistance to change is that we wear ourselves out and use up all the energy necessary to transform and evolve.
What You Resist Persists
CBC-TV Interview — Embracing Change
4. Psychology Takeaways
- Be on the alert for fight-or-flight tendencies during unexpected change. Take it as a sign to slow down.
- Create a safe space for open dialogue about change. Use it as an opportunity for ingenuity, creativity, and innovation at work and at home.
- Make a list of what remains consistent in times of rapid change and use it as a grounding technique at the start and end of each day.
- Instead of thinking of all the things that could go wrong on the other side of change, imagine all the things that could go right. Including the opportunity to level up and start again.
Embracing Change Moving Forward first appeared in The Drive Magazine. ™️
Oh yes! Focus on the destination and the journey takes care of itself, right?
Amen Annette 🙏 AMEN
“Focus on the Destination and the Journey Takes Care of Itself.”
I did a a vision board exercise with University of Windsor Student Leaders illustrating this point —
In this video, I share how high speed emergency drivers such as paramedics and police are taught to FOCUS ON WHERE THEY WANT TO GO — when they are at risk of crashing — not where they might crash.
A real-life practical example of how creating a vision for our lives is everything. Especially in uncertainty.
This is why I’m “always looking up”. .. ✨ 💫
Thank you for the wise reminders Andrea. I’ve gotten better about embracing change yet still often start with fear or resistance, then remind myself to relax, embrace, and deal with it. Plus I bounce around from type A to type B personality traits! It makes for an interesting journey. 😋
I love how your referred to the ever-changing back and forth between Type A & Type B in “old”er age. What helps me in noticing where I am ‘rushed’ and seeing this as a sign as my personality VERUS reality. Big shift these days. Thank God. Life is too good to be rushed. Your blog reminds me of this Brad. Grateful for your words and photography.
I’m again touched by your kind comments Andrea and a bit surprised that you need any reminders. 🙏😋
Thank you for this power boost post today. I believe my overall character has changed through experience and perspective. Sometimes we are put in extraordinary situations that might stifle our desire to change but all situations are temporary and we just have to keep up the spirit of moving forward..Stay awesome, dear friend 🌞💛☺️
POWER BOOST !! LOL I Love that Syl. Exactly the words this professor needs to hear in the final weeks of the Spring Semester before Summer Break. And just like the school year and semester. You comment underscores that EVERYTHING is temporary. Even this moment. SO EMBRACE IT
I love the anchoring exercise! I used something similar (clarifying the constants) in coping with my surprise divorce which felt like the end of the world and eventually turned out to be for the best.
What a fabulous post Andrea filled with wisdom. My whole world seems to be evolving lately, changes in all directions, big decisions forming a new reality moment by moment. Trying to embrace it all even if sometimes it seems overwhelming. Mostly however life these days feels exciting and full of new possibilities, especially when we trust in the flow. Much love your way. 💗
Yes,change is what we all resist. Thank you for such a good insight into the ‘Why’ of it.. Fear of failure is one of the major reason. People forget that the common factor behind all success stories is that the succesful people did not harbour the fear of failure.
Stay blessed always 🙏🌹🙏Keep motivating..keep healing.🌹🙏🌹
Hello Dr. Andrea, full of so many pearls is this post. Thank you. You share blessings and after many days they shall return to you. Change for me is like the green fields in Ireland. As fast as we cut the grass, it grows. Changes appear in my life it would seem, by the nanosecond. From the moment they appear, I accept them without resistance. But then another appears, and another. They don’t stop coming. One day I woke up to the fact that change for me is a process, that as the universe, is ceaseless. It was at this point that I could rest in embracing every change, no matter what form or how frequent. Blessings to you. Peter.
Life is a series of changes and yet thinking about any kind of change can be so overwhelming – What a strange thing that is! Such a great topic you present here, Dr A.
Life is change–whether we like it or not. I love the anchoring exercise, and the exercise you did with your students with the twins was insightful. I find change can be challenging because when control is lost or less than, it feels uncomfortable. But I love that there are so MANY things that don’t change, that remain constant in our lives, things and people we can count on. Thanks for this–truly insightful and wise!
I found divorce liberating, for It gave me my independence back, and I have learned so much about myself if I had not excepted change . I would not found myself in the place I am now.