If there is one thing that we can take for granted these days, it is the reality of change. We have in the midst of one of the biggest cycles of change any of us have had to endure with the pandemic. We had to change our lives at home and work dramatically and they are still changing.
All change carries with it the risk of the unknown and the unexpected. Some find this exciting and welcome the challenge. Others go down the path of change reluctantly, dragging their heels all the way. But, as songwriter Johnny Rivers said, “The only thing that’s permanent is change.” Conscious, developed awareness of our response to change can help us develop better-coping strategies.
How do you cope with change?
An important element of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Part of that self-awareness is an insight into how we deal with change in our lives. Answer the following questions to find out how you cope with change. You won’t be scored at the end, but answer true or false to the following questions, and elaborate a bit on those that feel especially relevant.
1. I hesitate to make a change until everything is 100 percent right. T / F
2. I never make changes unless they are forced on me. T / F
3. Generally, I look forward to changing as exciting and challenging. T / F
4. I’m the kind of person who has to be totally fed up before I’ll make any changes. T / F
5. When confronted with a change over which I have little control, I review the events and my behavior to determine if I could have done anything differently. T / F
6. Rather than feeling responsible for negative changes that come out of nowhere, I take responsibility for my reaction to them. T / F
7. I realize that sometimes even “good” changes have an underside that may bring unexpected problems. T / F
8. I realize that a positive change in one area of my life won’t smooth out all my problems. T / F
9. When coming to terms with a major change in my life, I attempt to keep other changes to a minimum. T / F
10. When a change or transition occurs, I review how I have handled other such events in my life for lessons on how to cope with this event. T / F
11. I look for other people who have undergone similar changes as models for how I might better cope with the change in my life. T / F
12. During a time of change, I ask for help and support from those close to me, reliable friends, and outside professionals. T / F
13. After a life change, I step back from the situation to get perspective and rest in order to regain a sense of balance. T / F
14. I try to look at the “big picture” of the change, and acknowledge mixed feelings I might have. T / F
15. Rather than blaming or feeling victimized, when I’m caught in a change over which I have no control, I “pick myself up, dust myself off” and continue to move forward. T / F
16. I don’t hold onto the “way things used to be,” but instead move into “the way things are.” T / F
17. In order to make a necessary change, I am willing to risk the disapproval and lack of support from others. T / F
18. When something positive happens for someone that might change our relationship, I don’t let my fears get in the way of being supportive of that person. T / F
For your EQ exercise, I suggest taking 2-4 of these questions that really struck you and making some time to journal about them or talk them over with a friend. They can be a source of insight and understanding.
You may also like this YouTube video I recently recorded which explores how to boost your optimism which is a key element in helping us cope with change.