When I put a call out to blog readers about what they wanted to see me write about this week, I received two good directions: blog about change and blog about Valentine’s cards. When I weighed the options, I liked them both, and since I’m heading out of town this weekend for a getaway with my girlfriends, I decided to write about both because, well, I aim to make everyone happy.
The idea of change can create fear, and in some cases, an extremely real phobia called metathesiophobia; the word is derived from the Greeks and is a combination of the word “meta” which means “moving” and the word “phobos” which means change. People fear change because they feel they have no control over their lives when change comes into play. It can be debilitating and can cause people to despair.
The Harvard Business Review wrote an article about leadership and why people resist change and fear it. The reasons are pretty basic. They cite loss of control, loss of credibility, the sense of surprise, and that things aren’t the same as they used to be as some of the answers. Sometimes we go through change that is welcomed; at other times we go through change because it is necessary; and during other strange moments we go through change just because we think it will be interesting or fun.
The very clear problem with resisting change, it seems to me, is that we all know change in inevitable. Things cannot always stay the same: we call that stagnation, and being stagnant may not be the enviable place to mentally reside. Opening up your mind to what positive changes can take place can boost your feelings on the subject. It’s the old adage: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
The very first thing you have to do to deal with change is accept it. Learn to be thankful for what is happening, because you cannot control it, you must live with it, and in the long run, who knows? It may end up benefitting you tremendously. If someone you love moves far away, while you won’t be able to see each other as regularly as you used to, look on the bright side! Keeping in touch with folks who live in other countries has never been so easy. With technology such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the world has become smaller because we can be connected at any time and with any place. Likewise, when you visit each other, you will most likely spend quality time together and make memories that will last a lifetime. If you’ve gone through a breakup and it didn’t have the ending you wanted, it does not mean your life is over. It means you get the chance to begin anew, perhaps even the opportunity to find someone who suits you better, understands you better, and loves you more. And if change has come into the workplace, just remember, it takes time to build and rebuild teams. If you are one of the lucky ones who has remained during a shift in leadership, hang on tightly. You’re still there! I worked for three different owners at the Orioles, and even though at times we wondered if we would still have our jobs or if the owners would bring in their own folks, we remained. There were few changes made, and we all retained our positions.
The truth is, there is no hiding from change. It happens daily. We win friends, we lose friends; we get jobs, we leave jobs; we get into one school then choose another; we fall in love, we fall out of love. At the heart of it all is the fact that change has the potential to be invigorating—it can force us out of our comfort zones and make us try new things. It can be good. No one should get too comfortable with the way things are…even things that are good can be better.
Maybe even a red pen.
Write someone a Valentine right now.
Stop what you’re doing and write. Write what you love about them. Write what you miss about them. Write what your future holds together.
Being able to put your thoughts into words that someone can save and touch and reread is so important. You want a keepsake? Then give a keepsake.
Think about how it felt that time in kindergarten or first grade when you received that first Valentine. Sweet. Innocent. If you were lucky, you got a chocolate heart to go with it. Sometimes, you had to guess who the sender was…and that was dreamy. Candy hearts from a sweetie…what could be better?
I’ll tell you what. A card, letter, or heartfelt poem or story, that’s what. Open up your heart and let the words fall onto the paper.
I adore you.
See there? I just wrote a Valentine. To whom, I’ll never tell.