Adapting to Change
Change: Reacting, Then Responding

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Lesson 1: Change: Reacting, Then Responding

Change: Reacting, then responding

Change is always happening, whether we realize it or not. Our bodies are constantly generating new cells to replace old ones. Stock prices are rising and falling. It's just a guaranteed thing.

And throughout our lives, we go through a lot of personal changes. Sometimes we choose for them to happen, while other times they're beyond our control. With both of these types of changes, we, as humans, have instinctive reactions to them. But it's how we respond to these changes after our initial reaction that determines how they affect our lives.

Watch the video below to learn the difference between reacting and responding to change.


Let's talk a bit about the difference between reacting to change and responding to it. A reaction is how you feel at the moment of the change. It's immediate, it's instinctive, and it happens before you're able to process things. Responding, on the other hand, is a conscious choice you make. It's the path you choose to take when moving forward.

Let's look at an example of change: losing your job. Your initial reaction to this might be one of anger or sadness. That's not something you get to decide; it's just how you feel. But after some time, you can re-examine the situation to try and find out how you'd like to respond.

Some possibilities might include looking at why you reacted the way you did or identifying the pros and cons of your situation. By losing your job, you don't have a source of income. But perhaps you recognize that there were some aspects of your job that you didn't like, or maybe it didn't provide you with a healthy work-life balance. Based on this, your response might be to dive right in to looking for a new job that makes you happier and allows for more time outside of work.

Obviously, there are a lot of different types of changes, and they're not all equal. Some changes are much heavier, like losing a loved one, while others are positive, like starting a new relationship. But when it comes down to it, every change evokes some kind of reaction in you. Whether it's good or bad, it's OK to feel these feelings internally. But know that you have control over your response. How you allow the change to change you is ultimately in your hands.