Hello, and thanks for visiting my new blog. So many of you (clients, colleagues, partners, friends and family) have been asking me when I would get around to writing a blog as you want to hear more about what I share in my social media posts, and related topics including health, wellbeing, and of course the incredible power of my Solution Focused Therapy to change lives for the better.
Well, just between us, I have been doing quite a lot of writing recently. My first book is due to be completed early next year. I’ll tell you more about that later, and you can be sure that I will share a few exclusive extracts with you pre-publication too.
I spent some time thinking about what I’d like to talk with you about for this very first blog entry, and it didn’t take too long for me to realise that the subject was staring me right in the face; CHANGE!
Had you ever stopped to consider how much change you deal with on a daily basis? Probably not! So that’s why I want us to focus on it for just a few moments.
We are all experiencing and adapting to change every moment of our lives, both internally (in mind and body) and externally (in our interactions with others and the outside world), whether we are aware of this or not. And, whether we currently think so or not, we are doing a great job!
Perhaps because of this constant shifting all around us, we sometimes feel ourselves resistant to change – how many times do you hear people say “I don’t like change” or “I like things just the way they are”. That’s actually our minds talking- because our brains’ top priority is to keep us safe - so instinctively, they don’t like change – and do their best to resist it.
There are several fundamental types of change. Let’s take a moment to consider each type to really get an idea of the scale of these challenges.
There is a significant contrast between changes over which we have some control and those over which we have no control. To deal with these we would be well advised to act upon the first type and do what we can to come to terms with the second. With the changes we cannot do anything about, remember that we still have choices to make. Most importantly, we can choose how we respond to those events. By doing this, we can decrease our resistance which also helps to lessen our levels of tension and anxiety.
Another contrast is between positive change (such as gaining a qualification, getting a raise or finding a partner) and negative change (health issues, job insecurity, conflict at home or work). These can variously be welcomed, celebrated, resisted or adjusted to. Again, it is helpful to remember that whatever the situation, we always have the power to choose how we respond to these changes.
What adds to the complexity of all this change is that it is happening consistently both inside us and in our external worlds too. Internally these changes could be about your mood, your current mental health, your responsibilities and commitments, concerns about your finances, your health, relationships or many other issues. And externally you could also be dealing with other people’s versions of all these – children, parents, friends, work colleagues. And then of course we are all getting older- another change which can often prove a challenge for a lot of us. Phew!
So although we may feel challenged by change, we need to get things into perspective and appreciate that we are actually doing an incredible job dealing with the countless changes thrown at us every single day of our lives.
And yes, let us now include the vast amount of sudden and unprecedented change which Covid-19 has brought about, forcing us to think (often in careful detail) about how we do things, making many small or large adjustments to routines that we used to simply take for granted. That takes a lot of flexibility, courage and compassion, both for ourselves and for others. That’s before we even start to consider the huge changes dealt with so valiantly by our care, emergency and other front-line services.
For many of us it has been one of the most challenging times of our lives, and look what it has highlighted- genuine outpourings of gratitude, community spirit, consideration for others, social care, all in ways that many previously thought unlikely, or at worst unthinkable.
Of course, I do appreciate that we all have our ups and downs in these times, and that many people are struggling. It is heartening to see that families, friends and communities are doing much to help those whose situations might be more difficult than our own – but that underlines my belief that by offering help to others when you are able, we can all contribute to the task of coping with change.
Let’s not put ourselves under unnecessary pressure – our responses to change are unlikely to be perfect; but if each of us does the best that we can one day at a time, then that is all we can reasonably ask of ourselves.
So let’s celebrate one of our shared strengths that this virus has uncovered - We now have proof that we are good at change!
Juan Carlos is a therapist and author with over 22 years' experience as a diagnostic scientist.
All blog entries are Copyright ©2019-2023 Juan Carlos Gouveia, All Rights Reserved.
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