One of the big contributors to feelings of added anxiety and stress is change. It’s likely that most of us have had to make some serious changes over the last few months.
What are the biggest changes you’ve had to deal with over the last few months?
If change is difficult for you, here is a four-step practice you can use to help you cope with lasting change.
Begin with awareness. I always tell the people I work with that you can only change what you are aware of. What are you noticing about yourself right now? Your situation? How are you feeling? Let’s use a super simple example we can likely all relate to: Have you recently become aware of how much you touch your face during this pandemic? We probably didn’t think much about that before, but now we are extra aware.
The next step is acceptance. In order to conform to change, you have to accept that it is what it is. This is what is going on right now, right here. You have an opportunity to take stock of your life as it is right now. You may have heard the saying, “What you resist persists,’ so stop resisting and instead, accept what is.
That doesn’t mean you have to like it, by the way, you just need to accept it. So, going back to our example… when you first noticed how much you touched your face you might not have thought it would not matter that much. Maybe you resisted. “Nobody can tell me I can’t touch my face!” But then, as you learned more about how COVID spreads, you may have gradually accepted that touching your face could make you more susceptible to contracting the virus.
Once you grab ahold of acceptance, then you can recognize that you have a choice in the matter. Choice is the next step. If you continue to resist, it feels like things are out of your control. You may not have choices in all areas of your life, but you do always have a choice in how you react. So now perhaps you choose to use a tissue or towel to rub your eyes when they itch if you have allergies, for instance.
Once you’ve raised your awareness, accepted what is, and made conscious, deliberate choices… those choices are what enable you to adapt to the lasting change you desire. I don’t know about you, but I touch my face significantly less than I did prior to COVID-19.
Again, this four-step process for creating lasting change is Awareness, Acceptance, Choice, Adaptation.
We value these steps and urge you to consider them when facing the unexpected.
Chief Career Officer, WHEN