Adapting to Change: Strategies & Quotes For Change

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Adapting to Change Comes in Many Forms

There are two types of change when you think about it. The change that occurs around you, change that cannot be controlled or influenced; like the loss of a loved one. There is also, however, change that you create. This change is directly controlled and influenced by you, your actions and your environment. It is this change we care about more because it is up to you what happens with it.

A rather classic example is your group of friends. Take a look at them, those people that you willingly surround yourself with, who are they? They’re your change. Throw a person into an entirely new group of friends who are successful, motivated and wealthy and watch that person become successful, motivated and wealthy. We are a direct result of the people and things we surround ourselves with.

You choose your friends based on everything but this, however, this is the decision for change without consciously making any changes. There are elements and decisions for change that we make every day that lead up to significant differences in our future. It is always good to be aware of these decisions, these changes and do your best to influence and keep track of them. 

You Have 2 Choices When Adapting to Change

When change represents itself, you have two choices. You can either choose to embrace it or resist it. I believe it goes without saying that option two is usually the worst of the two. Resisting change is only useful if you can actually reverse it. Changes in your friendship, or your relationship may be changes that you do not want. Resisting change in this scenario can be good if you are able to reverse it but can be bad if this change is for the best. That is the key. You have to figure out the future of this change. 

Feet behind 2 arrows in different directions represent choices
Adapting to change comes with choices

 

When I went off to university, a lot changed in my friendships and relationships with others. I certainly lost touch with some people that played a big part in my life before university. Some of these ‘drifts’ in friendships, I fought to keep. I believed it was necessary for me to make the effort to keep certain friendships alive. On the contrary, there are times I should have embraced the change and let it happen. A particular friendship was one I put a lot of effort into towards the start of my university journey. The thing was, it was never reciprocated. So, I embraced the change, and realised that it is not worth putting effort into things and people that do not do the same for you. Resisting versus embracing. 

Meet Jenny… 

Jenny, poor soul, has just been through a divorce and is now living on her own. A huge change to her life, the biggest in ten years. She is scared of this big change and doesn’t quite know how she plans to navigate it. What did Jenny do? Well, she read the first draft of this article and decided she’d try out all of the five strategies for dealing with change that we listed. So, here’s the second draft, with a touch of real-life experience. 

1. Abandoning Her Comfort Zone


Jenny has been shoved straight out of her comfort zone here. A rather solidified comfort zone that she has had no reason to step outside of for many years. This is a rather scary place to be. 

It is not easy to be so comfortable in one situation and suddenly thrust into another, so she takes action. Jenny writes down a list of seven really scary things that she hasn’t done alone all this time. Then, she does them. Jenny gives herself thirty days to complete them all herself. She; renews her car insurance and takes it in for its MOT, she reads through and makes sure she understands all the paperwork and contracts for her new place and begins a filing system, she goes out for a meal alone and a few other things that she’s not had to do alone for some time. She feels happier and more confident in herself than ever after these thirty days. This is her first step to adapting to change.

2. Focusing on the Positives

Wooden cubes spelling positive and negative
Replace negativity with positivity

 

There’s this thing about negative energy… it is a real physical thing and it sticks to you. This is why your surrounding friends have such influence, their negative energy will stick to you and bring you down. This is why you see two best friends feeling the same way at the same time. Their energy has connected. Positive energy is sticky, too. This is why people ‘bounce’ off of each other in the way that they do. It just so happens that positive energy is a lot harder to come by or create.

So, Jenny is trying to create some of her own. Rather than thinking that she is all alone in her new flat, she turns this into having more time for herself. Instead of making breakfast for her and her partner in the morning before work, she grabs breakfast on the way to the gym and works out for an hour. She loves that no one can have anything to say about it, if she wants, she can go to the gym at 2 am – no questions asked. She now has more time for work too. No one to come home to means longer hours at the office – Jenny is nailing her career and within three months she gets promoted. Jenny thrives after she turns her negative energy into positive energy – and it wasn’t easy. But.. she did it! 

3. Finding Something New

Whilst she is busy staying late at the office and going to the gym at ungodly hours, Jenny still finds her weekends and some evenings free. She recognises that this is when the negative energy from this big change can sneak in and stick to her. So, she makes plans with friends. All her friends seem to do, though, is ask about the divorce. She needs to be able to be happy alone so that she can be happy with others, too.

So, Jenny takes up yoga on Thursday night. She loves it! She meets Emma, who only knows the new Jenny, and they hit it off. Now, yoga Jenny is out on the town with her new pal Emma, forgetting all about the huge change she’s dealing with. This also helps Jenny move further outside her comfort zone in a more natural way. She’s never done yoga before, but neither has Emma, so they laugh about it together. 

4. Jenny’s Power of Choice

Jenny has found that she feels she has more control over her own life now. This is the result of her turning her negatives into positives, her adapting to change gives her freedom to decide. Her power of choice lies in leaning into what makes her happy and away from what does not. She has more control over this choice now as nothing has to be a compromise anymore.

Following this newfound control, she chooses to delete some social media from her phone and computer. She feels that these apps are a waste of her time and only depict perfect wives with their perfect husbands. This is not what she wants to be seeing at the moment. Jenny deletes these apps and finds much less distraction in her day-to-day life. She feels happier in herself overall. Jenny is embracing her ‘power of choice’, here, which is greater in her life now than ever before.

Question mark doodles on scraps of paper
Your choices have power

 

She has also decided to begin the hunt for another job. She no longer is required to stay where she is simply for the money. Her monthly payments are much smaller now and so she is looking for something that makes her happier and is OK with taking a little less money for it. 

5. Working for Her Goals

Jenny feels she’s got more to give. Whilst she loves her yoga, her gym sessions and the fact that she is totally independent now, she has found herself needing a purpose. A stronger purpose. This is the type of purpose that sticks around when everything else falls away. Previously, her purpose was to be a wife. Even if they lost everything, Jenny would still have been a wife. Now, that is not the case.

So, Jenny strives to give herself a more grounded purpose by focusing on some goals. She does something incredibly powerful for her mind – she writes them down. She prioritises where she wants to be in six months, in a year and in three years. These goals help keep her focused on her ultimate aims within these time frames. They are career-based, for the most part. She does, however, also write some smaller goals. Goals that are centred around her day-to-day life outside of work.

She aims to write a list of things that she is happy about every day for a year. This is something that really helps remind Jenny of the things she loves about her life. Whilst I did say these were ‘smaller’ goals, these goals are actually much, much more important than her time-framed career goals. These are the ones that create behavioural change so that Jenny can be mentally healthy as much as possible. 

Jenny’s Outcome of Adapting to Change

Successful confident businesswoman wearing sunglasses while walking through the street
Successful change creates confidence

 

We are now a year on… accumulating the benefits from her five steps for adapting to change, Jenny now feels much more confident in herself. She is happier, and healthier mentally and starts to feel as if this change may not have been the nightmare she believed it to be at the time. Had she resisted this, rather than adapting to change, she knows she would feel much less happy in herself, much less confident even than when she began and much less independent in her everyday life.

These steps have given Jenny purpose. They have made her feel more grounded, centred and focused on her goals. She is achieving more than ever in every aspect of her life. Work is soaring, she’s physically healthier than ever and her confidence is truly off the charts. Go, Jenny! 

Some Great Quotes About Adapting to Change… 

To illustrate some of the things I have talked about, here are four great quotes to get you thinking about adapting to change: 

1. ‘Change is inevitable, growth is optional’

What this is talking about is the resisting versus embracing conundrum mentioned earlier. Change will happen. Whether it is happening to you or because of you, it will always be there. It is the growth we choose to embark on because of this change that gives these changes meaning. Choosing to grow means choosing to reap the benefits of change, rather than choosing to resist it, freeze up and begin a downward spiral into self-disbelief. It is important to note, too, that we are in control of some of these changes.

Sometimes we must choose to make changes in order to better our future. It’s tough to adapt to change and choose to embrace it, but it is even harder to make the difficult decisions to prompt the changes that are necessary in your life. 

2. ‘You cannot change what you do not understand, you cannot play chess without knowing all the moves you can make’

Chess pieces on a chessboard with a pawn out of place
Know the rules before you play the game

 

This is a rather powerful one. What this quote is doing is explaining the importance of understanding your situation before you choose to change it. If you feel you are unhappy with a certain aspect of your life, strive to understand why or what is causing this unhappiness before making any changes. Hasty and irrational decisions are born out of trying to outrun inevitable changes. Treat it like crossing a road: stop, look and listen.

Understanding what is making you unhappy in this part of your life, then assess the options of changes you can make to make it better. Think about your options before making the change. I guarantee you will end up making a much better decision and, more importantly, performing a smoother transition from unhappy to happy in this aspect of your life. 

3. ‘If you change the way you see things, the things you see begin to change’

An interesting flip on the way we view change. Jenny chose to start seeing her divorce as an opportunity to grow and become a better version of herself. Thus, her new life began to look pretty sweet and inviting. She could have chosen to stick with her original perspective – an ensuing nightmare that she cannot control. She changed her perspective on her situation, and the situation began to change. 

4. ‘Life has no remote control, get off the sofa and change the channel yourself’

Most reading this will understand the struggle of manually changing the TV channel, rather than clicking a button or, nowadays, simply speaking your commands. Life will forever be that TV from the 80’s. There will never be a remote control, it takes time to arise from the grip of your mountain of couch cushions, walk on over to the TV set and find the right one in a sea of buttons that all look exactly the same with no delineation of which does what. 

So, press a few buttons, find out which one kills the connection completely and wrestle with your rat’s nest of cables down the back of the TV stand as you attempt to re-connect the satellite dish. The picture might be static for a while, but eventually, you’ll be able to find comfort in your sofa once again and enjoy ‘The Good Life’… 

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