The following assessment will help you gain valuable awareness to help you move forward when dealing with the next important changes that life brings your way.

Assessment: “How Do I Handle Change?”

1. Choose the response that most accurately reflects your reaction to change:

Change makes me feel:

1- Lonely and unlucky.

2 – Paralyzed and afraid.

3 – Uncertain but excited about what lies ahead.

4 – Hopeful and inspired.

2. When faced with a challenging change, like losing my job or receiving bad news from the doctor, I:

1 – Cry, scream, and then hide out in bed.

2 – Eat or drink excessive amounts of comfort food or alcohol.

3 – Call a trusted friend to discuss what is happening.

4 – Try to find the positive in the situation.

3. When I think of all the changes I would like to make in my life, like getting in shape, going back to school, or improving a relationship, I:

1 – Remember how many times I’ve tried and failed before.

2 – Focus on one but never seem to get very far.

3 – Begin enthusiastically but am back to my old self soon enough.

4 – Visualize exactly what I want to happen, create an action plan and start moving forward.

4. When I decide to make a major change, like leaving an unfulfilling relationship or moving to a new city, the first thing I do is:

1 – Think about all of the reasons why things could fail.

2 – Feel overwhelmed by the work that lies ahead.

3 – Find books and websites that can help.

4 – Seek out others who have gone through similar changes.

5. When I think back to the changes that I’ve already been through, I:

1 – I wish that I had handled them differently.

2 – Feel as if others have experienced more than I have.

3 – I am impressed with all that’s happened in my life.

4 – Recognize how each one brought something positive into my life.

6. When I tell others about a difficult change that’s come into my life, I:

1 – List all of the reasons why it will never get better.

2 – Feel overwhelmed but capable of moving forward.

3 – List the many reasons why I think it has happened.

4 – Outline a clear plan for moving through any pain or suffering that I may be experiencing.

7. My friends would probably say that I:

1 – Avoid change at all costs.

2 – Become angry and depressed when faced with change.

3 – Have a generally positive attitude and try to accept change.

4 – Can handle any change that comes my way and unafraid to initiate changes in my life.

8. When I feel stuck and unsure during change, I:

1 – Distract me from activities such as watching TV or drinking alcohol.

2 – Sleep.

3 – Go for a run or take a yoga class.

4 – Write in my journal and reflect on the change while listening to soothing music.

9. When faced with change or hoping to initiate a change, I take some time to be quiet and look within:

1 – Never—who has time for this?

2 – Rarely—quiet alone time is a luxury.

3- Sometimes—I can find a few minutes for myself right when I wake up or before drifting off to sleep.

4 – Often—I take a long walk or meditate several times a week.

10. When something changes in my life, I:

1 – Long for things to be as they once were.

2 – Get angry at life for making things harder.

3 – Accept the change and work to move through it.

4 – Feel as if I’m being protected.

Total your score:

1. Assess your score:

You don’t like change. In fact, you may even say you hate it. You’re not alone. Many people find change difficult, and feel isolated, misunderstood, and generally unlucky when changes come their way. But now is the perfect time to create a different belief system about change.

The next time you’re faced with change, instead of asking, “Why me?” ask yourself if this change could be protecting you from something or helping you grow in some way. And, though it’s tempting to curl up in a ball and hide during change, it’s essential to seek out help from others—there are friends, family, colleagues, clergy members, support groups, coaches, and therapists available to guide you through.

You’re not opposed to change, but it’s not something you welcome, either. When a difficult change comes up, you tend to ignore or procrastinate what’s happening instead of accepting the change and working to move through it.

Remember that from every change, even the most challenging, something good will always come. Try these tips:

– Keep moving—take a walk, clean the house, write in your journal. Action helps dissipate the anxiety and tension that can arise during change

– Seek the help of others.

– Look for the good in the change. Explore how this change will improve your life on the other side.

– Use empowering language to describe your change.

Each one of these steps will help to make your journey through change less stressful.

Change is a familiar friend. Though you don’t always have the time to give it the attention it deserves, you accept the changes that life hands you and feel confident in your ability to initiate changes when necessary. You also understand that you never need to be alone when going through change. There are always people and resources that can help.

Change isn’t something you handle. It’s something you look forward to. You welcome change that comes into your life—even tough changes—believing that each one serves a purpose and will eventually lead to good. You don’t waste time looking back at the way things were. Instead, you accept your new circumstances and wonder what’s around the next corner.

§ When you think about your current approach to change, what from your past has influenced you in having this perspective?

§ What previous changes from your life can you identify that you at first resisted but then saw how they improved your life?

§ Knowing that change is inevitable, what is a positive perspective that you can adopt to help you more readily accept change in your life?

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