The 3 Ways People React to Change: Are you non-active, reactive or proactive? Plus, we tell you how to take charge of inevitable change. – Part 1

Can you remember a time when you were given news of a change that you didn’t want in your life but it was happening anyway? Can you recall how you felt or what you did?

For most of us don’t choose change and any detour can be a source of frustration, fear and stress—we prefer the security of what we know. But change is unavoidable, and how we react to it determines the outcome, good or bad.

There are usually three ways that people react to change:

• Be non-active.

Basically, they resist the change and choose to remain in denial. If I don’t address the issue, it’s not really there. It won’t happen to me, so I’m just going to continue to go about my business. Or they cop an attitude and say, It’s not fair. Why me? Either way, they don’t move forward and stay stuck. They are choosing the pay later versus now, approach—and pay they will.

• Be reactive.

They frantically go into action feeling the pressure to make a fast decision. They don’t have all the necessary facts but make a decision anyway to eliminate their immediate stress and worry. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. It’s the individual who finds out they may lose their job, freaks out, visits 30 placement agencies, and the following Monday they have a new job—but not really one that fits their skill set or talent.

• Be proactive and positive.

They prepare ahead and put their focus on what they can do, focus on the positive outcomes and take action. Obviously, the ideal way to deal with change is to be is proactive because you feel more in control. And the more we feel we have control over the situation, the less stress and frustration we feel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a roof, a divorce, a career restructuring or a diet—when we take charge of change, the journey feels more comfortable and ends up more rewarding.

Easy to say, but how do you choose to be proactive when it’s so easy to freak out or hide under the covers?

To be continued


Acknowledgement to: Colette Carlson