Each year as the fall seamlessly starts to wash over us, it reminds us just how beautiful change can be. We see the leaves turn these amazingly bright colors, and just when we think they can’t look any more stunning, they drop to the ground, leaving many of our favorite trees bare. While we see these empty trees, and hyper-focus on the cold that’s about to come in, we forget about those leaves, the green beauties that turned to red, orange, and yellow, which are now brown and trampled on the ground. And in their demise, those “dead” leaves provide protection and fertilization for the earth below it. This process will go on over and over, and we will watch it over and over. People write songs and poems, and post photos of them, but do we ever stop to think how we are like those trees? That when we experience change, it can be beautiful too?
Most of us don’t like change. The article, “The Importance of Change Agents, Sponsors, and Champions in Organizational Change Management,” from OxfordCorp.com, reveals just how much, sharing research that states, “only 38% of people are content to leave their “comfort zone,” while 62% don’t like it, are hesitant, or will only occasionally do so.” That means if there are 10 of you in a room and your boss/family member/friend announces a big change, 6 out of 10 of you are probably nervous, anxious, and uncomfortable. This also means most people are probably now on a downward spiral of how they assume the change to be, instead of hearing what the facts of the matter are.
When approaching change, consider using the “FIRE” method.
F- Facts. No matter what change is happening. Look at the facts! Facts aren’t assumptions or things people said might happen. Facts are proven information.
I-Interpretations. When a change is on the horizon, or perhaps showed up with no notice, take a moment to think about your interpretation of what is happening. What has happened in your life that may have you feeling this way? What fears or excitement might have you interpreting this inaccurately or perhaps spot on?
R-Reactions. How we react to change can be complicated. Perhaps you tend to react to all change with optimism or all change has you turning inward and full of unease or apprehension. Your reaction reflects how you have interpreted the facts.
E-Ends. Depending on your reaction to how you interpreted the facts, will play a pivotal role in how this change ends.
Each person can use the FIRE method to analyze changes in their life, and in many ways, each of the letters plays a role. But what if you stuck just to the facts? What if the fact was, you are getting older, you lost your job, you are buying a new house, you must be at work by 7 am? These are the facts. What if you allowed yourself to embrace those facts in a gentle way? Welcoming a focus on the real matters and details at hand, so you don’t always get swept away in the ugly storm of emotions that can blow through our minds and make things that much harder? There’s an advantage in recognizing the facts. There’s a simplicity in sticking to what is true and real. There’s an opportunity to welcome the beauty of change if we allow it to simply, be.
In the cycle of life be it in us or nature, will grow, yield, bend, and transform. Life will withstand many storms; it will bask in many warm days. Change is one of the only things we can absolutely expect in life. If your leaves are changing colors, or maybe you are ready to transplant yourself somewhere new, if you are in a season of regrowth, all of those have value and are meaningful. Change can be hard, and it can hurt, and change can also be beautiful and seamless, just like we see in our landscapes this fall. No matter the changes you are facing, know that change is an ongoing cycle. The assurance of that cycle may help your grief or may make you want to relish a little longer in delight. Use the FIRE method to be present and participatory in your own changes. Change can be hard, but change can also be beautiful.
Director Of The Wellness Center