Change, Even Good Change, Can Hurt

Change, Even Good Change, Can Hurt

We’ve heard them all:

  • Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. (John C. Maxwell)
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Grief does not change you. It reveals you. (John Green)
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. (Nelson Mandela)
  • It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform. (Roy T. Bennett)

We could go on and on. In fact, do a Google or Bing search for “change quotes” and you’ll get thousands of hits.

But you won’t find one that says that change is easy. Go ahead and try it. I’ll wait. And if you find one, please post it in the Comments below, because I search quotes for my writing all the time and have yet to find one from a credible source.

So, if change isn’t easy, why do we do it?

Life Throws Change at You

Sometimes we have no choice. Life throws things at you that you wouldn’t want but that happen anyway: divorce; loss of a loved one; financial setbacks; job loss; illness, accidents. I could go on and on, and I’m sure you could add to the list.

How we react to those changes shows us how hard it will be to get over them. I know a man who was so upset about losing his job that he didn’t have the strength apply for a new one. And a widow was so devastated by her husband’s death that she became bitter, never forgave God, and turned into someone I didn’t recognize and didn’t want to be around.

Then, there’s the friend who looked at a job loss as an opportunity to start over, not as the ultimate rejection. He moved into a new career that he loved and was happier than ever.

We Make Choices Every Day

We make choices every day. Some are good, like buying that blouse at 90% off because you know it won’t be there later when you need it. Or, if you’re like me, choosing decaf late in the day so you can sleep at night.

Some choices are neither good nor bad; they just are. Such as, which flavor of K-cup to brew for breakfast or which lane to drive in. You know what I’m talking about here. You probably make a hundred or more decisions every day without giving them a thought.

But what if your choice doesn’t go the way you wanted? You leave one job for a “better one” only to see your new company fold and leave you with nothing. Or relocating to another state to be near your grandkids mere weeks before your son gets transferred and the whole family leaves you alone. (I’ve know people in each of these situations.)

So What Do you Do?

There are options.

  • Sit at home and mope. I’ve known folks who did just that. And nothing got any better.
  • Complain to anyone who’ll listen. Blowing off steam might make you feel better, but those listeners will get tired of you complaining.
  • And if you’re whining on social media, you’ll lose lots of friends and followers.
  • Use my cure-all – eat anything and everything. but then you face multiple health consequences.

Take Positive Steps

None of those works well to help you adapt to your change in situation, so don’t even go there. Instead, try taking positive steps, like confiding in a friend (one friend, not the internet) who will listen and make suggestions. Or seek professional help. No one faults you for going to the doctor when your body needs help to mend, so it’s no big deal when your mind or your emotions need help.

For me, the Number One Best Response to Change is A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

I know, you’ve heard all that Pollyanna, head-in-the-clouds stuff and it sounds bogus. But try it, for yourself if not for me. When you wake up tomorrow, tell yourself you feel great, life is fabulous, and it’s going to be a wonderful day. Then put a smile on your face to show the world that it can’t beat you down.

Start With a Positive Attitude

You won’t believe the difference in your day when you start with a positive attitude.

Some of you may need to repeat this for several days before it kicks in, but trust the process. Remember, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” I you think this won’t work, guess what? It won’t. But if you believe in yourself and in the power of a positive attitude, it’ll work.

I should know. I’m the Queen of Resilience! If anyone had a reason to be negative, it’s me. And if I can do it, so can you.

The choice to have a great attitude is something nobody or no circumstance can take from you. (Zig Ziglar)



Multidirectional sign photo by artur84 through

Menu from El Jardin Mexican Restaurant in Commerce City, Colorado

Smiley faces from

An additional Inspire a Fire article on change: Change Your Expectations