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  Weekly Feature (June 4, 2006)




Change: can't live with it, can't live without it! It's a topic on a lot of minds these days, and whether it's change eagerly anticipated, like the birth of a baby, or change dreaded, like divorce or the loss of a job, it is a fact of life for all of us. Dealing with change we desire is easy.

Coping with change we dread is not so easily done, so coping with unwelcome change is the topic of this feature. How do we do it? Can we run and hide our heads, and hope that unwished-for change just won't find us? Or when change yells "Gotcha!" does it make more sense to turn and face into the squall?

In coping with unwelcome change, these steps may make a difference:

1. Acknowledge that change in some form is inevitable (albeit inconvenient).

2. Mourn what you're leaving.

3. Catalogue your strengths.

4. Downplay your weaknesses.

5. Give this list to three friends, independent of each other, and ask them what options your strengths and weaknesses suggest to them. Then leave them alone. Their answers may surprise you!

6. Look at your own list again. Write down options that occur to you.

7. Collate the lists. Assess the options. Act on those that appeal to you. Wait for responses.

8. Don't overlook the fact that unexpected bonuses come even from change we don't want: a strengthening of existing ties in a relationship or creation of new ones, for example. Even in change we perceive as negative, positive bands may be interwoven.

Don't hang on to the old too tightly - it's already gone. Let go and move forward - it's the only direction there is.

For more information, check the following articles.

Changing Course: Managing Life's Transitions

Six Secrets to Managing Change

Ten Tips on Managing Change



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