The inevitability of change

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It’s a new year and with that comes new challenges and new opportunities. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” Indeed, change is inevitable and is part of the life experience. Sometimes change is external and thrust upon us. At other times, change is internal and something we initiate. Common types of change include:

  • Seasonal changes
  • Environmental changes
  • Community changes
  • Technological changes
  • Life changes
  • Business changes

Change can either be planned or unplanned. Unplanned changes are typically external and unexpected. They can happen when you least expect it and be quite stressful. Planned changes are usually ones that you initiate or have some advance notice about. Despite knowing about planned changes, they can be just as stressful as unplanned changes. Change is hard, even though it’s part of life.

Major life changes, whether they are planned or unplanned, can be difficult and increase feelings of anxiety. It’s not uncommon to feel a heightened sense of depression coming out of the winter holidays and into the new year. The opportunity and challenge of a new year almost always bring stressful decisions and changes.  The fear of the unknown is a deep-seated concern most people have.

I’m certainly not an expert on dealing with change, but over the years I’ve learned how to get better at dealing with change. Here are some tips on how you can deal with change:

  1. Preparation – I try to anticipate the results of change by thinking about the best case, worse case, and probable case of potential outcomes. The Boy Scouts have a motto, “Be Prepared”. It’s good advice.
  2. Acceptance – Knowing that change is part of the life experience gives me a sense of comfort that I’m not alone. We’re all fighting battles and dealing with change.
  3. Perspective – I think this is easier for older people because we’ve had enough life experiences to put things into their proper perspective. I’d encourage younger people to be optimistic that things do get better with time and don’t let a single change become a source of stress.  Time tends to make things better.
  4. Optimism – Yes, I think it’s possible to find good in most changing situations. Count your blessings and look for a good outcome, even if the situation is bad. Some of the greatest things in life come out of change.
  5. Humor – Sometimes you have to just acknowledge the insanity of a situation and laugh it off, lest it ruin you.
  6. Deal with it – Most change is temporary and best handled by dealing with it and moving on.
  7. Take care of yourself – Exercise, eat, sleep and do all of the healthy things you know you should be doing. It’s amazing how a simple walk outside can help clear your head and prepare you for change.
  8. Own it – Don’t walk away from change, lean into it. Whether it’s planned or unplanned, make it your own by seeking the best possible outcome given the situation.

Yes, life is full of change and nothing is static. Acknowledge the inevitability of change knowing that we all experience change in life. What changes are you dealing with this year? Whatever they are, I wish you success.  I’ll be out there dealing with change too.  We’ve got this.

[Joe Domaleski, a Fayette County resident for 25 years, is the owner of Country Fried Creative – an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Peachtree City. His company was the Fayette Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year.  Joe is a husband, father of three grown children, and proud Army veteran.  He has an MBA from Georgia State University and enjoys sharing his perspectives drawing from thirty years of business leadership experience. ]