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Managing the Anxiety of Change

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June 17, 2019
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August 1, 2019

Managing the Anxiety of Change

The company I work for is undergoing a significant change as it is in the process of being acquired by another much larger company. It has been interesting as this process unfolds to see the reactions of staff members to this change. Some staff members take a very nonchalant attitude, “I’ll just wait to see what happens with these changes”. Others are far more impacted by the change and will sheepishly admit the anxiety around these changes are difficult for them..

Change usually produces anxiety since it is a departure from what we know to what we do not know. With change, there is always the risk that it will not work or be successful. The alternative though is not always very enticing either. Not changing will mean a continuation of the issues that are not working the way you want currently..

If we as adults are anxious in making changes, more than likely our children will also experience anxiety often to a greater degree than we do in making a change. This is true whether the change is small or large..

It is important to remember that one of the key challenges with anxiety is that it almost always focuses on negative pictures of the future. When we are anxious, we are not imagining sunshine and rainbows. More likely, we are imagining bad things occurring from any of the changes we are contemplating..

Your job as a parent is to help you and your child be able to manage the anxiety of change. Often when faced with making changes, we tend to want to avoid the discomfort this creates for us..

The secret to managing any type of change is a bit of the old saying “feel the fear and do it anyways”. Change is naturally an uncomfortable process. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and what is familiar to us to places that are much less certain. The irony in this though is after making a change, it will become familiar to you and represent your “new normal”..

With your child, it will be important to help them be able to manage the fear they’re experiencing without necessarily taking it away from them..

On the surface taking your child’s fear away may make sense—who likes to see their child uncomfortable? In the long run, removing the anxiety of change does not help your child be able to learn to manage uncomfortable situations. Your job then is to help your child be comfortable with being uncomfortable..

Half the battle in managing anxiety is being okay with the discomfort that change will bring. It is the process itself that creates and solidifies change. Short-circuiting the process will likely lead to change that does not stick..

So, do you and your child a favor. Be willing to see change as a challenge to yourself to become a better version of yourself. It is the struggle that produces changes that last. Are you ready to accept the challenge?.

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