THE MAN UP THERAPY TOOLKIT SERIES
READINESS FOR CHANGE
One thing that’s consistent in life is that it’s always changing - whether we see it, or not. We often plan things out the way we feel they should be. Then, some type of disruption comes along that we need to adjust to. This disruption often feels uncomfortable. Obviously if given the choice, we much prefer the familiar over the ambiguous. The familiar is comforting, whereas the unfamiliar feels like a risk we need to evaluate, adjust to, and learn how to navigate. Like it or not, change is a constant in life. But it doesn’t have to be a negative component of life.
Let’s imagine for a minute what life would be like without change. It doesn’t take long to realize it just wouldn’t work - we literally wouldn’t exist without change. The reality is: change is often positive, and almost always brings growth. It’s also one of the most important life skills we can learn to navigate. Now that we comprehend its significance, let’s get a better understanding of the process of change and the key traits associated with successful change.
Change is the ability to transition from one situation to another successfully, without too much discomfort. This transformation often requires new expectations and an adjustment to what is actually happening to replace our initial expectations of what was supposed to be. This process takes time, it does not happen overnight. Often it is accompanied by emotions we need to deal with (disappointment, fear, anxiety, elation, or relief are just a few). If not processed in a timely manner, these emotions can manifest physically (headaches, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, or chest pain are just a few).
The process of change requires a combination of mental and physical resources to adjust our mindset to incorporate the different behaviors that will be required for success. It’s critical that we first recognize our readiness for change and be willing to accept the change that needs to take place. We need to feel confident that the rewards of change will be worth the work required. Finally, we need to assess our capability to make the desired change.
There are five stages of readiness for change; precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The stage you are in will greatly affect your motivation to change.
Resiliency is a helpful skill for adjusting to change. Those who possess the ability to bounce back quickly can usually absorb the disruption that accompanies change and accept the new situation quicker than those who do not. Also, individuals who view change as a necessary component for growth generally respond more favorably. Think of change as a clearing of the old, a way to start fresh and anew.
There are seven traits you can develop to help navigate change in your life.
1. Tolerance for Ambiguity – Since uncertainty is a big factor in change, we must have a tolerance for ambiguity and a belief in our intuition to make the right decisions.
2. Resourcefulness – The ability to tap into all available resources and develop alternative plans to solve a situation are critical. Resourceful individuals think outside of the box. Regardless of what life throws at them, they have the tools and navigation required to effectively handle the situation.
3. Adventurousness – Individuals with this quality can take risks in pursuit of the unknown. They view change as an adventure.
4. Optimism – The ability to look at things in a positive light and believe that things will work out is an important skill to develop. How you look at something greatly determines how you will feel about it, and the emotions you will experience. Is your glass half empty, or half full?
5. Passion/Drive – This is our mental desire combined with our physical energy. Passionate and driven individuals are determined and intense. Nothing feels impossible to them.
6. Confidence - Having trust in our our abilities, others, and in our future is paramount. If we believe in our ability to adequately handle situations in life, we will be less resistant to change.
7. Adaptability – The highly adaptable person possesses both flexibility and resilience, enabling them to bounce back quickly when things don’t go as planned.
Don’t worry if you don’t currently have all seven traits, or if they’re not as developed as you would like. You can click on the links to each one and learn ways to hone each skill.
Are you prepared to change? If so, let’s explore the barriers that are holding you back!
If you feel you or someone you love could use some help in this area, call me at 512-470-6976 for a complimentary, 20-minute phone consultation.
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Rosenberg, G. (2011) Change is a necessary part of life. Accessed:
The CP Diary (2011) The importance of change. Accessed: