To put it very simply, some of us like change and some of us don’t. Phrases like “status quo,” which relates to the way things are right now, provide us with enough information/data to know whether we like a situation, or, not, while being able to make the necessary adjustments one way or the other.
Dread or opportunity?
Change, however, brings on the unexpected. The unexpected can bring on anxiety/fear, and one can find themselves reluctant to move in a direction due to those emotions. When this occurs, change can be seen as a negative, something to be avoided, when/if possible (usually not successfully), and there may be a sense of dread. Are you coping with changes?
So, when change brings on the unexpected, we can dread, or, view change as challenge and opportunity. This is the glass ‘half-full’ part, where one can look at freshness and not stagnancy. As human beings we seem to actually need challenge and change, lest we become bored and complacent. Advertisers know this about us humans, and take advantage of this characteristic to market products that address our desire to change (something). They also know, that today’s satisfaction with the new, in time, will bring on restlessness to what’s next.
Another question that may come up is; what does change represent? Are we making a comparison of an upcoming change to a negative past experience? Do we connect upcoming change to a more positive past memory of a situation that changed for the better? Our brain may quickly process what was just read, and bring us to the sense of dread or opportunity, mentioned. This can take place quickly, however, to the extent that we may not realize what has taken us to our position regarding change, therefore, we may also quickly move into the connected emotion, not knowing exactly what is the basis.
All of this is to say that if we understand, personally, what change represents to us, we are in a better position to manage the event/circumstance, along with the thoughts and emotions connected to it. This increases our sense of control in the matter, allowing us to cope and more effectively contend with the event/circumstance. It may also be helpful to talk through and process this with a supportive person, or persons. Friends, family, pastors, advisors, counselors and others can facilitate the process of change, moving us forward, and onto ….the next change.
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Miller Counseling Services. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.