Change Messes With Everyone

I’m at a new office where I originally didn’t want to be. I tried to fight it with every part of my being, but it turns out it’s not as bad as I expected it to be. It’s amazing how fast we adjust once we are thrown into a situation.

I started to see all the positive angles from the change – the new co-workers, old friends and discovering the surrounding area during my lunch.  I could have focused on all the changes I didn’t like, multiplying all the pain, but as you know multiplying pain is usually a bad idea. 

The Emotional Steps of Change


The initial response to change is denial. You want a situation to stay the same. We like for things to feel comfortable. 


The next response is to get irritated at whomever or whatever caused the change.  We put the blame on whoever caused us to feel this way because it’s easier. When in reality it’s how you chose to react to the situation.

All of us deal with change on a daily basis. I might get stuck behind a slow-poke on my way into work. If I left earlier I would take it in stride because there isn’t any pressure. If I’m pressed for time I get upset. The same problem can spur two different reactions.


The next response is to want to give up. Nothing matters and you can’t believe that you have to put up with all the crap. We’ve accepted the situation, but don’t know how to handle it.


The last stage is optimism. The resilient mind finds a way to see a little hope in the change. This usually take a few days depending on how attached we are to the old routine. The more we develop our emotional intelligence, the faster we can process our emotions and come out of it happier.

When I was told to move to a new office that was farther from my house I went through all these phases. And through it all I realize I can adapt to any situation. Because I’m a survivor. You are also a survivor or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. You look for ways to make your present situation tolerable and/or enjoyable.

What did you learn this week? Did it help build upon your personal development? Have you gone through any of these phases of change at your job?

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Image courtesy of robertcupisz

14 thoughts on “Change Messes With Everyone”

  1. Hi Karl,
    Great point about how we all go through these phases – and even better – that you’ve worked your way through them and are seeing the good in your current situation. That’s the thing, if we look hard enough, whatever the situation, most times we can find the silver lining. Hopefully you continue to find your new location with many things that make it all worthwhile…

    Lance’s last blog post..And The Word Is?

  2. Hi Karl: For some reason I’m having a really visual day. I got a really clear image in my head of you being “thrown” into your new office 🙂 And the process you describe is exactly right: maybe I won’t really have to change office; whose lousy idea was this anyway, how can they being doing this . . . ; I hate it here, I can’t take it anymore; oh, well, actually this isn’t that bad.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..The Yin-Yang of Creativity

  3. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work

    What did I learn this week? Sometimes we realize that we were right years ago. In my case I don’t think I had the courage to follow-through that I do now. Thanks for the question.

    I knew that you were a resilient guy.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..A Guided Meditation for Authentic Expression

  4. So true, I’ve already dealt with this about 3 times during my deployment and in this final change I finally was able to see the phases for what they were. Learning how to find the positive in every situation can make all the difference.

    Nathan Hangen’s last blog post..The Article Press

  5. Kudos for seeing the “bright side”. I see change as opportunity or an opening for growth – to learn about ourselves, organizations, businesses, whatever the case may be. I sit on the board of a networking organization and one of our staff members recently left. I see a huge opportunities, while others are afraid of what that means.

    Change can “hurt”, but if, as you say, we keep hope and stay optimistic, the “thing” waiting on the other side is usually worth it.

  6. Hi Lance, I’m trying to live the message of my site. At times it’s hard, but always worth the effort.

    Hi Marelisa, I’m curious to what you thought my new office looked like.

    The process that we all go through when we deal with change is fascinating. I’m so glad a I discovered Buddhism because it helped me understand the value of becoming the watcher instead of letting a experience shove my emotions all around.

    Hi Stacy, sometimes it’s hard to see a good person leave, but it does bring opportunity for new growth. We usually can’t see the positive right away, but give it a little time and our creativity will blossom into new ideas and possibilities.

  7. Howdy…

    Can totally relate – wouldn’t it be easier to skip these steps and just find ourselves accepting and dealing with most situations? More often than not however, we have to come to terms with things by going through the motions of anger, despair, acceptance etc…

    Well done on adapting to change!

    Ross’s last blog post..New E-Book: Jump-Start Change!

  8. Hi Karl, sometimes I have the same feeling just like you as well, upset, anger, despair and so on, but I like your last point : Hope. There are always hope and beautiful thing in every change, even the change hurts us so much or it makes us feel discomfort like you have said.

    Arswino’s last blog post..Achievement of Goals

  9. LifeMadeGreat | Juliet

    Hi Karl

    I believe that everything happens for a reason. No matter how bad the situation, it tends to lead to good in the future. One simply needs to be open to it.
    You may well find that you are presented with an opportunity in your new place that wouldn’t have come about had you not have moved there. Or perhaps you will meet somebody beneficial…

    I hope you let us know 😉


  10. Hi Tom, it’s funny that you say that. I was telling Nikki that I wished that I started this blog four years ago, so I would be farther ahead. The thing is I don’t think I would have been ready. Situation usually present themselves when we are ready to see them.

    Hi Nathan, seeing the positive in a deployment isn’t easy, but the more practice we have the easier it gets.

    Hi Arswino, hope is always a saving grace. There is always some little glimmer of an improved future to keep us moving.

    Hi Juliet, I sure will let you know how I adjust to my new position. I already met some cool people in my new office and I look forward to some interesting conversations.

  11. The stages you mention apply to different areas of human lives. They remind me of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ idea of 5 stages a person experiences during the journey toward death and dying:

    Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
    Anger (why is this happening to me?)
    Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
    Depression (I don’t care anymore)
    Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes).

    Similar stages describe personal feeligns about change and uncertainty. Your post reminds people that the roller coaster does not have to seem scary. Everyone expeirences ups and downs and also has choices about whether to focus on the ups or downs.

  12. It’s strange how much we resist change. But one thing for sure in life is that change is always happening, and I think it’s about time we embrace this fact and just welcome change… Easier said than done, I say!!

  13. As a change management consultant I appreciate this post. Change is an emotional ride. Understanding the business case (the reason) behind the change is a good first step to be able to appreciate why the change is happening. Being able to embrace the change and see the bright side of change is a gift.

  14. Sometimes you’re asked to solve a particular problem, and you find that the problem is just a symptom of another problem, so you need to spend a lot of time at the beginning identifying where to start and what you need to do

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