Life is constant change. We are conceived and born, start walking, leave the familiar environment and go to school, finish, find a job, change it, find a great love and, after a few years, find it again. Life is a constant flow and therefore a constant change because, as the saying goes, “You can never get into the same river twice.” Even if we wish we could, and even if this creates in us a sense of security that we would like to have, but which does not exist.
Nothing ever stays exactly the same. Everything evolves and that is good. Because without change, we would not grow. We would not evolve, we would not have new experiences. The only final state is death.
“Life is change, said the stone to the bee and flew away.”
The systemic-phenomenological approach I work with assumes that people always act in the best possible way. This means that we always deal with the resources and tools that are available to us at the time.
What is available to us is what we have acquired so far, including all possibilities and blockages (beliefs, patterns, experiences, etc.).
If we want to reach a new goal, it is often necessary to acquire new tools and expand our resources. And it is precisely here that conflict often arises.
The stone (in the above quote) could have learned through its imprinting that stones cannot fly and must always remain on the piece of earth on which they were created. He has thus developed patterns of belief that make the goal of being able to fly seem unattainable.
At the same time, however, there is the desire to lie on another meadow. While the desire is getting bigger and bigger, this belief pattern is getting narrower and narrower. Because the new doesn’t fit into the mould of the old – it’s too big. This is where it starts to hurt. We often feel the same way about change.
We have the desire to achieve something, but to do so we have to leave the known, throw belief patterns overboard and step out of our comfort zone. Furthermore, we get scared, get angry because it is not easy with the resources and tools I have.
I fall into a feeling of lack, because it feels like I can only lose—either what I have or the security that comes with knowing.
“Life means change, progress, development. But change, progress, development only happen when I am ready and able to leave, to go away, to consciously experience lack.” – Karl Sendler
Change, and thus life itself, therefore becomes difficult when we go against the flow. When we hold on to a place for fear of losing control.
1. conscious loss of control
When you feel change coming, consciously say yes to it. You may be confronted with many new things and actually lose control for a while, but you can always be in control of how you react to them. In doing so, you move out of the feeling of powerlessness and strengthen yourself.
2. let go
Not all changes are difficult, but some, especially big changes, can lead to change crises. The reason for this is that we are confronted with a situation for which we do not yet have resources and tools to use. At the same time, we can only develop the new self-concept, the new behavioural patterns and the problem-solving strategies that are necessary for the new situation. Therefore, it is indispensable to engage in the new experience.
Because the path often reveals itself only when we walk it, and it is in walking that we develop strength.
3. Mindful Self-compassion
Mindfulness and self-compassion are great companions in all situations in life, also to get through changes well. Mindful self-compassion means regularly taking time to get in touch with yourself. If you are going through a phase of change, take a few minutes regularly, preferably every day, to consciously listen to yourself.
To do this, sit or lie down somewhere comfortable, close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and notice what is there inside you. This can look like this, for example:
“I feel that I am nervous, and my whole body is tense. I feel overwhelmed and want to cry. I feel that I can’t manage it all and that everything is too much for me. Not only that, but I feel completely alone in this world and misunderstood.”
Feel what is there inside you without judging. Just be there for yourself. Then feel what you need. For example: “I want a hug and a talk with my best friend. I want someone to listen to me. I wish someone would be there for me.” Do what can be done.
Routines are supportive in times of change. Routines give us a sense of security and instil confidence. At least at this time of day, we know what is coming. It is best to establish routines that feel good to you and are easy to implement when you are feeling well.
5. remember your strengths
When we are confronted with new situations and everything suddenly changes, when our self-concept, behaviour patterns and problem-solving strategies no longer work as they did before because everything has changed, we can quickly feel small and incapable. In the process, we forget that we have many strengths. Keep shifting your focus away from what is not yet and towards your strengths.
As Tony Robbins says, “Energy goes where attention flows.” Focus on the resources and tools you have and use them to develop new strategies and get through this time well.
Change is not always easy, but we grow through it. Always reflect and rely on yourself. Because you are your constant in life.
If you would like support, please feel free to contact me.