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How to Cope with Change

Change is rarely easy, but life would be pretty stagnant and boring without it.

Many people resist change, finding it far more comfortable to drift along day after day in the same old routines. They eat the same kind of cereal for breakfast—every day. They shop at the same grocery store every week, buy their gas and coffee at the same convenience store, drive the same route to work every day, contribute every year to the same charities, and sit in the same pew every week in their church or synagogue.

While routine is not a bad thing, it can become really stifling if carried to the extreme.

Not everyone balks at the thought of life changes. Some people, in fact, embrace change. They view change—most change, anyway—as being positive, and call it opportunity. Others see change as threatening and something to be feared.

Go Figure

A bumper sticker expressing our general reluctance toward change was spotted recently. It said, “Change is good. You start.”

Those who embrace change must be in the minority, however, because experts say that resisting change is a natural human reaction.

Being uncertain about the future, as we often are when change is occurring, can be a very uncomfortable feeling. Sure, it was just fine when you were in college to have not a clue as to where you'd be living when classes started up again in the fall. You figured that if you couldn't find a spot in the dorm, there would be a friend of a friend somewhere who'd be looking for somebody with whom to share an apartment.

Somehow, however, that kind of uncertainty becomes much less acceptable, and far more stressful, as we move out of youth and into middle age.

Business leaders fully recognize the need for change, and go to great lengths to encourage employees to effectively cope with the changes that occur in the workplace. Motivational speakers who teach coping techniques are in demand at seminars and conferences.

Your attitude toward change plays a big part in how you'll deal with it. If you view all change as bad, it sure won't happen easily for you. If you look at change as opportunity, you'll be more open to it and willing to make it work.



More on: Family Finances

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Personal Finance in Your 40s and 50s © 2002 by Sarah Young Fisher and Susan Shelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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