Change is a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it. There are many reasons why people resist change but there are also important reasons why you shouldn't resist painful change.
Often when people don’t know what to say about the painful change you are going through, they may say, “But change is good” and in a way they’re right. It makes us move on, develop ourselves, stretches us and eventually when we’ve come to terms with the change will make us more adaptable, and more resilient. However, it still doesn’t account for all the personal objections, negative thoughts and feelings we go through until we come out the other side, see the wood for the trees and have a smile on our faces again.
Why do we resist painful change?
Personal objections are the things we tell ourselves to let us off the hook for taking responsibility and being accountable for change that is happening in our lives. This will protect you in the short term but if we continue we’ll often find ourselves making excuses, finding problems or legitimate reasons why we shouldn’t adapt to change. Learning how to live with something new or just accepting that this is going to be our new normal doesn’t happen overnight.
You might hear yourself saying:
“Why is this happening to me?”
“Nothing ever goes right for me.”
“I will never get back on track and back to normal.”
“I can’t do this.”
The point is, that nobody likes painful change because we have to take on board something we don’t like. With small changes, we can easily adjust our thinking processes and behaviours. Unfortunately, problems can occur when you’re thrown into a painful change.
Why do we have to change?
We have to adjust so that we can continue to live a life that will feel normal to us. This normal may be different from what you had before. It will take time to create but you will find it with time, patience and the willpower to allow the adjustment to happen. If you don’t change, what will life be like for you and the important people in your life? You may find yourself living a life of regret and resentment.
Along this journey of change, you will have disagreements with yourself and others.
At times you will hate it.
You will think it’s too hard and wish it would go away.
You will likely feel like running away so you don’t have to face it.
What stops us from adjusting to painful change?
Significant, difficult painful change is thrust upon us with no warning and is difficult if not heart breaking.
People can go through an agonising battle of change. Some will put up with something that they don’t like because they are comfortable with the habit of their thoughts and feelings. Even though they may feel uncomfortable and unhappy, having to adjust to change can feel more terrifying than what they have already. Having to adjust requires new levels of thinking processes pushing us out of our comfort zone until we start to feel comfortable again. Some have no choice but to adjust because there’s no alternative to their life and living with change that has been thrust onto them.
How will it feel to adjust to painful change?
At first, it will feel strange, you may have to change whole aspects of your life. This is when you have to dig deep and practice your self-honesty to find the right reasons to make the change in your thinking processes.
It may be difficult to see the clarity. Finding the right support system is essential so you can discuss the options available to you and help you see a new normal.
It may be difficult to work out how to create a new normal that can be integrated into the life you want. Again, having the right support structure will help work through your options and find a system that works well for you.
Is there any good news?
Some people will simply not adapt to the change which will then make it very difficult for the important people in their lives.
But the good news is this resistance you’re feeling is your body letting you know how you’re feeling. If we didn’t feel would be the time to worry.
How do we get over the resistance to painful change?
You must dig deep with your honesty levels and use the very important what, why and how questions. This soul searching will be difficult because it will bring up and lot of thoughts and feelings that you may like but you have to press through it.
What is the resistance?
Why do I have this resistance?
Why am I thinking and feeling like this?
How is this benefiting me?
If I continue to resist this change what is life going to be like for me?
How do I want my life to be instead?
How can I start to make this life a reality?
Whatever you decide to do now will determine not only your future but also those who are important to you
The sooner you start managing your thoughts and feelings after a painful change to sooner you can start creating your new normal and live it to the full.