Embracing change can be a very difficult proposition for chronically ill people to accept. Change conjures the specter of fear and fear is already a huge problem for most people who are in eternal pain.
Change is inevitable. In fact, change is the only constant in our lives. Everything in the world is changing around us every minute of every day. Our very bodies and minds are changing from minute to minute, as well.
This being said, many of us find the process of change to be difficult. Change challenges us to transform along with our world and this can be frightening for people who are stricken with persistent health problems. People often fear the unknown and change certainly creates a steady stream of newness in life that can be threatening and anxiety-producing.
In my coaching work, I see a common disposition towards resisting change. Clients are obviously scared to make life alterations for fear of their consequences. Furthermore, they are afraid of failure, afraid of success and simply afraid of life, in general. Most do not even consciously even know why they are afraid, but there is certainly conscious recognition of this terrifying chronic fear.
Dealing with fear is a difficult challenge for any coach, but it is even more of a trial for pain coaches. This is because fear propagates pain, both physical and emotional. Fear is a major component of chronic pain and sickness. In order to feel better about life, clients must overcome their fears. A great place to begin is with the acceptance of change.
I often begin this transformation process by talking to clients about their current health and position in life. Universally, they are negative and describe their existence as suffering.
When I ask my clients about their attitude concerning change, the vast majority say that they fear it and the differences that will be made in their lives. Of course I know that change will be needed if they are to get feel better, function better and live better. This is quite a catch 22 situation.
While some coaches see this as an obstacle, I see this as a huge opportunity to make an important breakthrough.
I ask each client what they would want in life in order to make them happier and feel better. While individual replies vary, each and every person describes a multitude of changes that should occur to better their lives. They often go on and on about all the wonderful things that could occur in a perfect world, then eventually come back around to their truth that these changes are unlikely to occur any time soon.
Here is my chance to modify their thoughts about change itself:
I ask each client why they fear change, if they just mentioned that change itself is the catalyst towards better lives. This always draws a pause, so I continue:
I ask them what they have to fear if life is already such a suffering and, in their words, can only get better.
This hammers home the intention with resounding clarity. Clients now realize that change might be good. Change is normal, natural and should be openly invited into life.
Now, I speak with the client about how change is a dynamic factor in life that can be crafted and tuned to do as we command. We can actually design the changes we want to make in life, strategize how to accomplish them and then implement our plans towards the actualization of ideal results.
In essence, we can use change as a tool to improve our lives. This is the fundamental power of coaching.
Within hours of reflection on our discussion, virtually every client sees that their fear has been misguided all along. Within days, most are already strategizing how to make changes in their world to improve their satisfaction with life. Within weeks, most have become masters of change and see how it can drastically alter their realties, with a bit of hard work, introspective contemplation and some objective thought and behavior modification.
In summary, I suggest considering how change is the path towards enlightenment in all things. Change brings knowledge and experience. Change promotes better health and better coping strategies. Change transforms powerlessness into dynamic action and accomplishment. Change focuses potential energy into kinetic actuality.
Please, do not fear change. It is this very fear that holds people mired in place, stuck in their suffering and eternally wishing for the very change they fear the most.
Accept and welcome change. Change can be wonderful.