I work with people who are going through change. Often the change is so significant that it becomes a crisis (such as a divorce or a severe health diagnosis). I guess how you handle change often depends on what, exactly, the change is.

Mostly, we want to feel good. We like it when things are going smoothly and we’d like them to stay that way. But how realistic is that? We know that change is happening all the time and if we are to grow in any way (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) we need to stretch, which means things need to change, which means we’ll experience some discomfort.

Think about it. If you suddenly decide that you want to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just go out and do it (at least I hope you wouldn’t). You’d probably want to consult a trainer, someone who could tell you how to get in shape. Then you’d start by doing short runs. At first it would be uncomfortable, you’d be stretching yourself and your abilities, but soon you’d find that you are able to run a mile quite comfortably and then you’d stretch yourself again by running further, and so on, until eventually you were fit enough and ready to run your first marathon.

Life is like that really. We want to grow – to be more, do more, have more – but often we don’t like the discomfort that comes with that growth. In fact, people often try so hard to avoid it that they end up making life even more difficult.

Yes, change can definitely be difficult. Particularly when it is forced upon you – such as your spouse suddenly announcing they want a divorce or your boss announcing that the company is making cutbacks and your job has to go, or a customer announcing they’re going to do business elsewhere. But even then, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, we’ll probably have to admit that there were signs that the change was going to come. Your spouse spends less and less time at home and you hardly see each other; your company has been letting other people go or there have been rumors of cutbacks; your customer hasn’t been in contact for a long time or not purchasing as frequently as before. There are usually signs, but we often tend to be so caught up in the every day living of our lives that we don’t take time to notice what’s going on around us – the signals that things are about to change or that things need to change.

From my experience of helping people through change, here are 5 steps that can help make the process a little easier:

1. Accept responsibility. Even if the change has been forced upon you, don’t think of yourself as a victim. This takes your power away. Accepting responsibility doesn’t mean it’s your fault, it means that you accept that this has happened, this is where you are and you need to move forward from here.

2. Look for the gift or the lesson. I think you’ll find if you look back on your life that out of every very difficult situation something positive eventually occurred. If you actively look for the lesson in the situation, it can help you to get to that positive outcome much more quickly.

3. Know what you want. Rather than spending all your time thinking about how bad the situation is or how unfair it is that it’s happened to you, focus on what you do want. It’s happened, now what – where do you want your life to go from here?

4. Take action. Don’t wait to see what happens next. Know what you want and take the action steps that will get you there. Doing something will help you feel more positive and start the momentum going towards what you want.

5. Get the support that you need. Stop trying to handle everything by yourself. Ask for help. Whether it’s from friends or family members or from a professional, such as a business or life coach – get the help that you need. The most important thing is that the people you allow to help you are positive and supportive.

You can learn to embrace change and to actively bring what you want to you in your life, rather than waiting for life to happen to you. I’ve found that it’s preferable to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your life, rather than a passenger.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Binns shows you how to be more successful in all areas of your life by working with your environment. Get FREE Feng Shui Success Secrets. These powerful and practical secrets can help you transform your life. Go to www.fengshuiexplained.com now.

Linda Binns is author of Feng Shui for Your Relationships: Changing Your Environment to Create Better Relationships. She has been a Feng Shui Practitioner, Author, Speaker and teacher for over 10 years. She has appeared internationally on television and radio and in local publications. Linda is also the founder of The Feng Shui Success Institute – which teaches in-depth Feng Shui training and practitioner certification.