Episode 34 – Show Notes
Welcome back everyone. I hope you’re doing well today. We’re going to talk about mastering change. This is part one of a two-part series where we talk about the two most common forms of change that as human beings we deal with on a regular basis. Forced change and intentional change.
Part one that we’re going to talk about today is forced change. Since this is very applicable right now with COVID. This also applies to other types of forced change such as divorce, or ending of a relationship, death, any kind of change that is not in your control. Next week’s episode, we’ll cover part two: Intentional change.
TODAY ON EXPAND YOUR LIFE PODCAST
- How we naturally react to forced change.
- The affects in our life caused by our natural inclination to freeze when we can’t flee or fight.
- What we are really avoiding when we freeze.
- The 3 main things we need to learn to do to deal and move forward from forced change.
Welcome to Expand Your Life Podcast. This is Jc Jones and you’re listening to episode 34.
Welcome back everyone. I hope you’re doing well today. We’re going to talk about mastering change. This is part one of a two-part series where we talk about the two most common forms of change that as human beings we deal with on a regular basis.
Part one that we’re going to talk about today is forced change. Since this is very applicable right now with COVID. Next week’s episode, we’ll cover part two, which is intentional change.
Well, as many of you may be discovering, forced change is not very pleasant. There are probably a lot of changes going on in your life. A lot of changes going on in your community. And there’s also a lot of changes going on in the world right now. But what we’re going to talk about today also applies to other types of forced change such as divorce, or ending of a relationship, death, any kind of change that is not in your control.
Whenever we are presented in life with anything that our brains think is something unsafe or dangerous to us, our brains job is to protect us. To keep us safe. To keep us alive. And anything that happens in our lives that our brain defines as unsafe or dangerous, It’ll do one of three things. It’ll create an urge in us to either run, flee from the danger, which is flight. Or fight against it, if at all possible. And if neither one of those solutions is applicable than the alternative to those two is to freeze.
Many times with forced change, we have no option to fight against it. It is out of our control. Many times we can’t flee from it because once again, it’s out of our control. This is change that is forced on us. So what we tend to do is we tend to freeze.
Kind of like when you picture a deer in the headlights, how it freezes. Or if you’ve ever snuck up on a rabbit in the grass, they freeze. Animals do this, hoping that their predator won’t see them if they don’t move. That they’ll be invisible and therefore safe. And this is somewhat true because without movement, I mean, I’ve watched my dog. He’s not interested in a bunny unless the bunny is running away from him. He doesn’t even notice it. He doesn’t even realize it’s there. So in that respect, the rabbit is much safer if it does for freeze than if it is to run. To bring attention to itself.
So we freeze. During times of forced change is not the only time that we tend to freeze. Other times that we freeze in life is any time when we are feeling uncertain, overwhelmed, or confused. These are all times that we tend to freeze. If you’ve ever procrastinated, you’ve been frozen. Procrastination is a good sign of being in that state of freeze mode. I think it’s real important to point out at this point that the change itself is not what causes us to freeze.
It’s the resisting. Trying, even in our minds to fight against it. Fight against that change. And what this resisting causes is:
- it causes pain
- It causes fear
All of these emotions become heightened when we attempt resistance to changes that we have no control over. It’s that fight against the change, but not actually being able to fight. Fighting in our minds. And these emotions, these heightened emotions overwhelm us to the extent that we become immobile. We freeze. We enter freeze mode.
So what happens when we enter freeze mode? When you’re in the thick of this crap show of heightened emotions, everything feels too big, too much. We try to shut off these heightened emotions and heightened feelings. We try to figure out a way to stop feeling so much. To numb out. Anything, to be able to avoid feeling for awhile. To avoid processing these emotions.
This may look like drinking more, or to excess. Using food to change how we feel. Bingeing on Netflix or TV, or even reading. Video games. And I think it’s okay for a time. For a short time. Not an extended time. The problem is a lot of us like to stay in this place because it feels better. Where we don’t have to deal with things that make us uncomfortable. We don’t have to deal with those emotions and those feelings. But don’t get stuck here.
So how do we keep from getting stuck? Or how do we get unstuck once we are in this place? You need to do a reboot. Just like a computer that’s frozen. You have to reboot it. That’s the only way to clear it. Reboot it in Safe Mode to make repairs. So we need to do the same thing with ourselves. We need to reboot. Reboot in Safe Mode so that we can heal. Process our emotions. Find awareness.
As in anything in our lives, we must first have an awareness concerning what is happening. What is going on. What we’re experiencing and why we’re stuck. Sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of it. But awareness is the first step.
Awareness asks all the important questions. Awareness gets answers, gets solutions. It gets to the root of the problem. And if you’ve already started creating a habit of self awareness in your life, this will come more easily and much quicker.
If you want to hear more about self awareness, I’ll be doing an episode in a few weeks on self-awareness. So keep your eyes open for that.
Self awareness asks questions.
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What’s causing me to feel this way?
- How is it affecting my actions?
- Why is it affecting my actions?
- What am I doing that’s making me feel the way I feel?
- What can I do?
- What do I have control over?
And we know the answer to that question is – Myself. The only thing I have control over is myself. Not the world. Not those around me. No circumstances, just myself. That doesn’t probably sound like very much when you hear that. The only thing I have control over in my life is me. That sounds pretty limiting.
But there’s a lot about you that you have control over and becoming aware of these things gives you that control. Becoming aware of:
- your character
- your feelings
- your thoughts, your motives
- your motivation
- your desires
- your needs
- the actions you take
- the reactions you have to circumstances
- your inactions (the actions that you don’t take)
- your values
- your beliefs
- the goals you have
- the vision you set for your life
- the mindset that you have in different areas of your life
These are all things that you have a say in. The things that you do. The actions you take. The progress you make. Whether you move forward. Whether you stand still. How you show up to the world. How you show up to those around you. And for those around you.
Those are all things that you do have control over. So becoming aware and starting to ask questions around these things is the first step to getting unstuck. Getting out of freeze mode.
Grieving and processing your feelings. The reason self awareness is the first step is because without self-awareness, you’re not going to be able to figure out what you’re grieving for. You’re not going to be able to figure out what emotions you’re dealing with. Where they came from. How to get rid of them. What emotions that you want instead.
And if you’ve suffered a loss, grieving is very important. Not just a death, but any loss. A relationship, your job, your home, security. Any loss in your life needs to be healed, needs to be grieved. Grieving for what once was. Grieving for the change that’s in your life. The forced change. Grieving for what once was, but is no longer and start feeling.
You will heal much quicker if you allow these feelings to have their place. Let them out and let them go. It takes time. Crying helps. Or writing/journaling. Or if you’re like me, writing and crying. Talking to someone. Someone who can just be there and give you a safe place to express how you feel. I always recommend finding a good therapist or counselor for this. It really is a huge benefit in processing emotions. But this is a healing process. Be gentle, be compassionate for yourself. Or towards yourself.
Don’t set a time limit for how long this takes. As long as you are actively in this healing process and doing the work, you’re doing great. And you’re going to naturally flow out of it when you’re ready. Just don’t regress backwards. Don’t go back into freeze mode. Stay in safe mode until it’s time to come out.
You’ll know. You’ll know when you’re feeling better. Your outlook on life will change. Your outlook about yourself will change. You’ll be more motivated to start doing things.
This is a good time to start creating new routines for how your life looks after this change has happened. Creating routines creates a sense of safety and normalcy to your life. So create new routines. Start thinking about new possibilities. Create a new vision for what you want and how this new life looks. And once you have this new vision, create a plan of action for moving forward.
- Create new routines
- Think on new and exciting possibilities
- Create a new vision for your life
- Create a plan (goals) to move you toward that vision
- Take action on that plan
Well, that’s about it for today. I hope I have shed some light on not only how we deal with change, forced change, but some ways to get through it without getting stuck. Without falling into depression.
Don’t forget. Next week, we’re going talk about intentional change. So check back for that episode. Have a great week. Just chill for a minute. Take yourself through safe mode. You’re going to be okay.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you’ll get updates and notifications. When new episodes are released, have a great week. Bye for now.
THANKS FOR TUNING IN!
Thanks for tuning in to this weeks episode of Expand Your Life Podcast. Join me again next week where we will be discussing: Making Decisions.
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