When We are Forced to Change

noun: Change; plural noun: Changes
. the act or instance of making or becoming different

The experience of “forced change” is present at different points in our lives.  By forced-change, I mean change that takes place in our life that we didn’t necessarily choose.  Often times this kind of unplanned change gets a bad rap, particularly at first.  Even if the outcome may result in a more fulfilling existence for us, if the change wasn’t our decision, our first instinct is often fear, a desperate attempt to hold on to what was, and to see the former situation through rose colored glasses. Examples are the ending of a bad relationship, a job we no longer were meant to be at, getting a new boss, having to change living situations, ect.… Often, it’s our fear of communicating this “forced change” to our friends, family, and associates that is often the worst part.  We dread their pity, their “I’m so sorry,” and condolences as those responses only serve to remind us that this change wasn’t our decision and clearly that must mean “bad things” are happening to us.  However, forced-change by nature is not a negative, and a simple switch of perspective can enable you to maximize the opportunity this change is likely to bring.

So often our successes and pivotal life moments come out of these Forced-Change situations.  Take a moment to think about what is working for you in your life right now and how it came to be.  Are you working where you work now because you loved (and could control everything) where you worked before?  Are you partnered or single now because your prior relationship was your end-all be-all in love? Think about how you felt right before you got your last job, right before you entered or left your last relationship, just before you moved to a new city or changed living situations…likely there was a period of time when you felt change was happening to you, rather than you creating the change until you decided to embrace the situation.

*Think about how often we stay in negative situations because we are so scared of things being different. This proves that we might fear forced-change simply because it was not our choice.

When experiencing Forced-Change ask yourself:

  • Aside from things being different, what exactly am I fearful of?
  • What will move me from fear, to acceptance, to celebration of this change?
  • What do I need to feel secure in this new situation?
  • What’s the opportunity here?
Cheers to you and cheers to change,Rachel