The concepts of ‘change’ and ‘transformation’ have been weighing heavily on our minds at The Lily-Jo Project. We’ve asked our newest blogger, Bella Healey, what comes to mind when she thinks of ‘change’ in context with our current environment. Here is her response along with a few practical tips for how you can positively cope with change and transformation in your personal life.
The whole world and how it ‘usually’ functions has been completely shaken up due to Covid-19.
People have had to work from home, friends and family haven’t been able to see each other for many weeks, and wearing masks and painting rainbows on your window has become the new norm.
Perhaps like me, your whole school career was over within a split second and you’ve had to adjust to a new rhythm and level of uncertainty about the future. For many of you, perhaps you’re struggling with the loneliness that comes when you can’t see people face to face.
From Bud to Flower, Everything Changes
While all of these scenarios may feel overwhelming, think of it like this though….everything changes!
Flowers change constantly – and if they didn’t move through the growth stages of bud to flower, we would never be able to see their potential or fully appreciate their beauty.
The very fact that animals and plants can adapt to their habitat makes them much more resilient and able to survive. Adaptation relates to us as humans too; change builds character and shows us our potential. External change makes us more flexible, more understanding, and prepares us for the future.
Change can also often be a test.
For example, when silver is tested, it goes through several stages of purification until it is the best it can be. In the same way, when we are put through tough, testing situations (which are a change from normality) we have the opportunity of becoming a better version of ourselves. We are stretched in new ways, we learn to be resourceful and discover mechanisms for coping.
Change brings a whole new level of experience.
Change vs. Transformation
“Change” and “transformation” may seem interchangeable, but there is a huge difference between “being changed” and “being transformed”.
Change is doing new things because of external influences, whereas transformation is internal. When emerging beliefs lead to a new way of being, long after the external pressure has dissipated, you have been transformed.
During lockdown, for example, you may have changed your daily routine to stay indoors away from the threat of infection. On the other hand, “transformation” may have occurred if you have made a concerted effort to become a more kind or generous person since you’ve had more time to reflect. If you’ve been truly transformed, your generosity should continue long after lockdown.
So, even though some of the changes we’ve experienced over recent months may have been frightening (largely because they are out of our control), we do have a choice as to how we respond and react.
We could choose to sit and do nothing all day, or we could spend our extra free time thinking about how we can be transformed to become better individuals who will have a positive impact on the world.
This might mean reflecting on your relationships and seeing how you could be a better friend or sibling, perhaps trying to ditch habits that are unhelpful or unhealthy, or trying to create new positive thinking patterns – particularly in the way you think about yourself.
Remember, the key difference between transformation and change is that transformation endures, it lasts, and it requires effort from you in order to keep up good habits and disciplines.
5 Ways to Cope With Change
Look within yourself
Try looking at change with these questions in mind:
- How will this change make me grow?
- How will this change improve my ability to deal with uncertainty?
Keep working through these questions as you deal with the uncertainty of a new situation, and you will find that you view the change with a new perspective. You may even see it as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience.
Witness the positive benefits of change first-hand
Why not grow a plant? As you water and feed it, watch it grow and change and take note of how it becomes more beautiful over time. Aim to mirror this growth and change into someone that brings others joy and seeks the best in uncertainty.
Set a goal, but be realistic
Perhaps you want to ‘be transformed’ rather than just ‘be changed’? Ensure the change you make can be sustained but also make sure it isn’t too massive to begin with. Trying to make a huge change quickly can be really difficult and it can be very frustrating if you can’t stick to it.
One simple change that can really make a difference to others is demonstrating kindness.
Simple, kind gestures can really change someone’s day for the positive and you’ll find you’re a happier person for doing it. You could simply tidy your room, offer to do the chores, or make a cake to brighten someone’s day.
Build healthy habits
Transformation only comes by practising good habits. Why not set yourself a target to do three things a day towards your transformation goal. It might help to place three sweets in your pocket at the beginning of the day as a reminder, every time you do something towards your goal, you can reward yourself with a sweet. For example, if your goal is to become more peaceful choose to pause three times each day for 10-15 minutes so as to slow your thought processes.
About the Author: Bella Healey
Bella met Lily-Jo at Church and joined The Lily-Jo Project blogging team in June of 2020. She lives in Manchester and has recently finished Sixth Form at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. During her time at school, she became passionate about helping others realise that mental health is just as important as physical health. Along with other pupils, she formed a wellbeing team and together, they implemented numerous initiatives which encouraged students to cultivate a healthy mind-set.
In her spare time, Bella enjoys cooking and baking, as well as mentoring young girls in their Christian faith. You can visit her personal blog site via this link here.