Wellness – A Way of Living

Turning Good Intentions into Action

The Art of Life is a constant Readjustment to our Surroundings!

Path to Change

Adaptability and Change Management

When dealing with change in our lives we need to be capable of “bouncing-back” in a way that encourages not only survival but adaptive growth.

Learning ways to “adapt to change” is essential in change management. Change is a fact of life. If we decide that we will hold on to non-adaptive beliefs and values the end result can be a sense of ‘feeling stuck.’

For people struggling with making lifestyle changes this inability to adapt can have destructive results such as: a breakdown in key relationships, health concerns such as heart attack and/or digestive issues, and substance or alcohol abuse.

So if increasing the ability to adapt has such a positive impact on moving us forward and getting us unstuck then why is it so hard for us to learn to do this?

Well one key reason is that we would have to ‘change’. That word conjures up some degree of fear. Change in our mind may mean ‘giving up’ what we know for something we are unfamiliar with and this can create a ‘fear of the unknown.’

When change comes we tend to treat it with ‘contempt’ and resist it as long as we can, hoping to avoid it, even if it is good for us in the long run, because we feel safer with what is known to us.

My approach to “change” is to recognize it in the context of a grieving process, (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

To demonstrate this let’s look at the example of the client who enters Wellness Coaching. They have a sense that things are going to Change and so they go through these stages:

Denial – At first they deny that they have a problem. Everyone else is the problem.

Anger – After the initial first couple of sessions, they begin to experience how difficult it is to change and may feel even angrier. Some clients leave at this point.

Bargaining – In trying to make sense of the demands of changing people resort to bargaining (with a higher power, for example). People will say things like “Oh God! Show me a sign that this is right and I will stay to the end of the program.”

Depression – Depression can set in for some when the difficulty of adapting to the new way of doing something is harder than they thought and may demand more than they think they can give. The clients doubt that they are doing the right thing at this point.

Acceptance – Eventually, if the client can endure the whole program, they begin to develop their new expression and with it some success at changing. They feel that they may be on the right road after all.

Ideally what clients need to achieve is a response whereby when change confronts them their automatic reaction will be to deal with and consciously make a decision to adapt to, or accept the perceived challenge to their current beliefs.

So what can a client do that would help them to adapt more readily to the changes in their life (big and small)?

1. Stop and think. To avoid miscommunication and misinterpretation give yourself time to review situations thoroughly. This will allow you to make informed choices.

2. Think Past Today. Ask yourself “What if?” questions. Think about the consequences of dealing with a situation inappropriately. Ask yourself things like, “What will I lose?” and “What will I gain?” and “How will this choice affect my family and friends and self?” Consider your answers before you act.

3. Be Open to Continuous Learning. Change is a constant in everyone’s life. To meet the demands of change throughout a client’s life they will need to continue to update their knowledge.

4. Seek Help. Every situation can bring change and if you know yourself well you know how you will react. If you are struggling with how you react to some situations because they are just too sensitive then consider that somewhere, someone has successfully dealt with the same situation. Even situations that seem most devastating can be given new hope if there is someone else who can share how they handled it. Perspective is needed to see things clearly. Seek this perspective in those who have been there, done that, and survived to tell the tale.

5. Needs vs. Wants. Look at your needs; those things that must be met for your survival. Ask yourself this question: “Is my reaction an attempt to meet a personal need in a healthy manner, or is it an attempt to keep things the same?” If I am meeting my needs, than I am adapting to the challenges that come my way. And adaptation is key to my survival.

Thinking carefully and mindfully using these skills has helped many clients to make positive choices in situations requiring adaptive change and problem solving.

Title Quote attributed to Kakuzo Okakaura.

Not sure if you need a Wellness Coach?

Schedule a Wellness Evaluation call and decide for yourself.

Michelle Potvin H.T. Coun.,

Wellness – A Way of Living

(Connect & Contact on Linked in – http://ca.linkedin.com/in/michellepotvin)

Wellness, a state of mind, body and spirit!

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2010/10/29 - Posted by | Change, Lifestyle, Stress, Wellness | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Brilliant!…
    I am just glad to know you are here. It has been a long path, and it is just expanding further!…

    Congratulations, and all my love.

    Nuno

    Comment by Nuno Osvaldo | 2010/10/29 | Reply


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