Change can be scary, overwhelming and difficult to deal with at times. Are you struggling to cope with change? Here to help you are the 6 stages of dealing with change, as explained in The Change Cycle by Ann Salerno and Lillie Brock.
Stage 1- Loss to safety
In the first stage of change, you need to accept that whether you believe the change to be “good” or “bad”, there will still be a loss of what “was”. This can feel unsettling, and you may have a hard time accepting your new reality. However, accepting it is the key to moving onto the next stage.
Stage 2- Doubt to reality
In this stage, you’re likely to doubt the facts and struggle to believe information about the change. You may feel skeptical and resentful, which clouds your thinking. You may want to deny that this change is happening or has happened, even when presented with evidence.
Stage 3- Discomfort to motivation
In this stage, the reality of the change settles in and this can feel very uncomfortable. You’ll know you’re in this stage if you’re feeling frustrated and generally anxious. Even if you’re usually an organised and productive person, during this stage you can seem “all over the place” and unmotivated to take action.
The Danger Zone
In this moment, you can either see the opportunities presented by the change and move onto Stage 4, or stay in fear and go back to Stage 1. The reason this is a “danger zone” is because you’re most at risk of undoing your progress in this moment. However, it’s important to remember that you have the power to move forward, to Stage 4.
Stage 4- Discovery to perspective
If you pass the Danger Zone, then you enter the stage of discovery. In this stage, you feel excitement over making a decision, which gives you a sense of control and hope. You now feel optimistic and empowered.
Stage 5- Understanding
In this stage, you understand the change and its benefits. You now feel confident, can think clearly and make more productive choices. You can begin to see the opportunities which this change presents in your life, and the positive side of what was once scary or even negative.
Stage 6- Experiencing Integration
In this final stage, you’ve regained your flexibility. You now have insight based on your experiences, and understand the rewards and consequences of your past, present and future. You feel integrated in your life, and a feeling of balance and peace has now been restored.
We hope that these stages of change have helped you realise that coping with change is a process which takes time, and requires you to keep moving forward and choosing understanding and bravery. If you have any questions about change or anything else that’s on your mind, remember you can always reach out on AskCellCgirl for a free and private chat. Good luck!