Finding A New Normal – 5 Keys For Adapting To Change


What’s normal anyway?  For those of you who know me, you probably know I’m not a big fan of change.  I like things the way they are.  This can be a problem though.  Life requires us to stretch and grow.  Change is inevitable.  Kari Scare provides some great insights today to help you adapt to life’s changes.  After you read the post and answer her questions in the comments, I hope you’ll head over to her blog and see more great writing.  For more information about Kari including her blog link, see her bio at the end of the post.

Finding A New Normal

A while back right after an uneventful 3-mile run, I experienced sudden and severe pain in my hip accompanied by a knotted muscle and a limp.

In response, I did what I normally do (and what usually works) when experiencing pain and discomfort after exercise… rested, iced, medicated and stretched. Unfortunately, my normal approach didn’t work. Several months later, I finally admitted I needed to try a new approach.

After consulting my doctor and doing some research, I added the use of a foam roller to my normal routine. While more uncomfortable than stretching (it was somewhat painful, actually), the foam roller got directly at and finally resolved the knot. Hip pain no longer plagues me.

Only when I got outside of my normal routine, when I decided to try something new, did I not only find resolution to the cause of my pain, but also discovered a new and improved normal.

When Normal Fails to Work

Ever find yourself in a place where what normally works fails to work? It’s that place where usual patterns of thinking and approaches to working through life’s struggles simply no longer produce expected results.

All of a sudden, effectiveness becomes illusive. You may still move through normal routines, but they feel flat, maybe even pointless and possibly painful.

I’ve been to this place physically, mentally and spiritually on more than one occasion and each time found the only way out existed only through finding a new normal.

How to Find a New Normal

The frustration of hip pain only resolved after pushing through the limits of my normal routine to discover a new normal. Using a foam roller now exists as a regular part of my exercise routine and also provides a constant reminder of the need to adapt to life’s changing seasons, even if doing so involves pain and discomfort.

If we always do what we’ve always done even though the circumstances around us change, we’ll eventually fail to experience effectiveness. Instead, we must continually look at what’s working and not working and be willing to find a new normal allowing us to operate at our best.

Finding a new normal requires adapting to life’s changing seasons, and this means…

  1. Admitting the need. Refuse to get stuck in a normal routine. Realize and then admit when normal no longer works in order to open the door for stretching that leads to growth.
  2. Getting outside help. Avoid getting so ingrained in habits and routines that seeing needed changes is impossible. Talk to others, objectively getting ideas for change, and receive the input required for future effectiveness.
  3. Being teachable. Realizing the need for change and knowing what needs changed remains useless when a person remains unwilling to change. Being teachable involves a willingness to find a new normal and to adapt to life’s inevitable changing seasons.
  4. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. All too often, we know we need to change and we even know what needs changed, but we still fail to make the changes. Why? We’re too comfortable in our habits. Be willing to let go of the old normal to find a more effective one.
  5. Staying aware of changing seasons. Find ways to continually stay aware of what’s not working and what is working. Look for ways to stay challenged and to confront any ineffective normals preventing effectiveness.

At first I resisted changing my normal routine, even when it wasn’t working, but chronic pain forced me to see my need for a new normal. Unfortunately, only after months of my body screaming desperately for change did I become teachable and willing to change.

Discomfort does sometimes indicate a need to pull back and rest. Sometimes, though, it indicates a need to seek a new normal, to adjust to the changing seasons of life. As we push through the discomfort (and sometimes pain) of finding this new normal, we will discover the benefits of increased effectiveness and productivity too.

How do you adjust to life’s changing seasons? How do you stay aware of those changing seasons?

Kari Scare blogs about ways to live in victory while still struggling on this side of Heaven.  Her blog, Struggle to Victory, will challenge you and inspire you to make small changes which will lead to a big difference, to be perfected through Biblical principles, to live life with determination, curiosity, intentionality, simplicity, and balance.  She has a story worth reading and sharing with others.  Go check it out!