Coping with Change

November 14th, 2016 by Kelly Kienzle

Many times over the last week I have attempted to write this note. As my mind swirls to understand the source, emotions and outcome of change, I have used many different approaches. I share them here in the belief that change is inevitable and so we must be versatile in how we cope with it. Here are some of my approaches:

Notice your emotions.

I have noticed myself, from a balcony-viewpoint, be angry and disgusted many times this week.   When I notice this emotion, I am overcome that I am capable of such a strong reaction. Yet I do not try to suppress nor justify the anger. I simply notice it.

Notice your emotions. Are you still angry or disgusted? If so, then take no action yet. Action based on anger is part of how we got here. Simply continue to notice your emotions and the noticing will help you to control them. Only then will you (and I) be ready for action.

Go on a media diet.

I always want to find the portion of responsibility that I hold for any outcome. The responsibility that I now hold myself accountable for is having a too narrow and redundant diet of media. I have since committed to digesting a more diverse plate of media (e.g., through the BBC, Farnam Street Blog, the small-town newspaper, my neighbor’s front yard, etc.) to ensure I am getting a more complete picture of the world.

I am also exercising portion control and not over-consuming media. I want to be able to fully digest each news item. So when faced with change, notice how many people around you agree with you. If it’s most people, then change your diet and get input from others.

Narrow the aperture.

When change is coming, we must be fit and able to cope with it. I have narrowed my aperture recently to focus on myself and my family to ensure we are healthy emotionally and physically. Change is hard, so prepare yourself beforehand to be able to meet the change with resilience, strength and patience.

Be kind…

because every person we meet is fighting some silent battle we know nothing about. Through the years, too many people have felt left behind, ignored and disrespected. Possibly many more groups also will now feel this way.

My responsibility is to be kind to as many of them as I can.  I have full control to exercise kindness every day, regardless of my circumstances.   When you get the small idea to do a small kindness today, do it. It will only help to lessen the fear and ease the change.

This is what I have done, but I know there is more I can do. And I will when another piece of my heart and head are ready.

What about you? What have you learned and what do you want to do differently? Only by changing our mindsets and our actions can we change our outcomes. And we will cope with change together.

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