Three Simple Ways to Deal with Change

By Robyn Roste
 


Faced with overwhelming decisions to make in an uncertain economy, young adults are forced to deal with stress and change like no other age group.

First time homebuyer. University graduate. New parent.

These are labels attributed to young Canadians, who are transitioning from one stage of life to another. They are hopeful, proud words, indicating approval from older generations.

However, other labels like: divorced, downsized, and in debt are perhaps more accurate descriptions of the world 20-something's are discovering. The shock is enough to send optimistic fresh faces back to the stability and structure of university. Or back to their parents' basement suites.

Attitude

When transitioning from one stage of life to another, or when life changes suddenly, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and alone. This is not the truth. Shifting your perception by choosing a positive attitude will help you see life not as something to be endured but something to be lived.

In Taking on Life with a Great Attitude, Chuck Swindoll suggests three ways an improved attitude will help you face life's challenges with confidence.

  1. Make a negative a positive
It's easy to see the bad side of a situation when you're in the throes of it. But by engaging feelings of uselessness, self-pity, fear, or self-reproach, you give power to negativity, which can poison your whole life. Determine instead to be enthusiastic for life, hopeful for the future, and trusting in God's promises. In doing so you will empower yourself to deal with life courageously.
  1. Choose to see the other side of the story
Caleb's model in Numbers 13 and 14 is a great example to follow. Twelve scouts were sent to explore Canaan, also known as the Promised Land. Upon their return, the spies reported although the land was magnificent, it was protected by massive, fortified cities and more than seven nationalities of sworn enemies who were settled throughout the country. Giving in to fear, the spies spread discouragement throughout the camp, saying the Israelites didn't stand a chance—the people were so huge the Israelites were like grasshoppers in comparison (Numbers 13:33).

Of the spies, only Caleb chose to rest in God's assurance — that this was the land promised to the Israelites. Caleb said, “Let's go at once to take the land … We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30). Although the task was overwhelming and seemed impossible, Caleb chose to believe God was bigger than giants, was stronger than fortified cities and would keep his promises.

  1. Seek God every day
Trials will certainly come. But just as certain, God will be with you. Once the worst has passed, you are left with a choice: mind over matter or vice versa? Hebrews 13:5 repeats the promise Moses gave to Israel when Joshua was appointed their leader. Moses said Joshua would be the one to take them into the Promised Land, where they would conquer their enemies. “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The LORD your God will neither fail you nor forsake you,” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

He said attitude is more important than facts. It is also more important than what people think, say, or do. “I am convinced that life is 10 per cent what happens to me and 90 per cent of how I react to it,” he said. Change is inevitable. No one can control that. However, how you choose to deal with change will determine your success in life.

Prayer

Trying to deal with life changes solo is wearing and can leave you feeling isolated and alone in your situation. But this is simply not true; you are never alone (John 16:32).
In her article, Learning to Live in the Real World, Linette Schut tells her story of how she moved from feeling helpless to hopeful by relying on God. “…I realized that if I was left to fend for myself, I had no chance at succeeding, let alone surviving.” She was challenged to pray, rather than worry about the future. By learning to communicate with God regularly in prayer, she knows God is with her, and will provide all she needs to deal with change.

Reach out

Another way to deal with life changes is by accessing the social networks you're already connected with.

Social networks are a vital part of a young adult's online experience. However, they exist not only in the virtual world — neighbours, hobby groups and religious organizations are also valuable resources.

In 2008, Statistics Canada released a survey called Social Networks and Major Change. It determined change was a common experience for Canadians. While this seems obvious, it's nice to have some numbers behind the observable.

For instance, in the past year, 57 per cent of Canadian adults aged 20-29 experienced a major life change. Overall, these changes were seen as a positive experience and respondents said they used many parts of their social networks to deal with said change.

Young adults typically access several networks when dealing with change—finding they offer support, guidance, advice, and perspective. However, 47 per cent of young adults who are building careers and/or families prefer to use the Internet as a primary resource, turning to other people second. As for external resources, these same people said they're less likely to use neighbours or religious organizations than government resources while going through a transition.

The report said the most frequent types of transition were: financial, employment, health, parenting, child care, and caring for the sick or disabled. These statistics drastically separate young adults from older generations, who are more likely to seek out the opposite resources when going through life changes.

The Internet has revolutionized the Millenial generation and how information is gathered and change approached. However, despite these variations, this remains constant: it is easier to take on life's challenges if you choose a good attitude, rely on God, and reach out to your social network.




About the Author:  Robyn Roste


 
Robyn Roste

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