Change is difficult. At least that’s what most people believe, so they avoid it. It doesn’t have to be this way. Change can be good, and you can learn to embrace it, rather than run from it. It just takes a shift in your perspective.
The world today is complex. Advances in technology means everyone is working faster, harder and longer than ever before. Priorities are misaligned as we attempt to be all and do it all. When a change in our personal or professional life occurs, our lives become even more complicated.
The change might be small, like scheduling a doctor’s appointment at 10 o’clock and having to wait longer than expected. The change might be large, like the unexpected loss of a close friend. Either way, change is like being at the epicenter of an earthquake – your world is rocked. Sometimes it’s just a jolt of movement that snags your attention. Other times, precious valuables are knocked off your shelves as you attempt to regain your footing after a massive change.
Yes. Change is difficult. Despite this, there are steps you can take to make change – big or small – more manageable:
- Know yourself. The 24/7 nature of today’s world can make it hard to slow down and tune in to your natural tendencies and rhythms. With a strong sense of self, you are better equipped to manage change. When change occurs, how does it affect you? Do you worry? Do you become anxious? Do get excited about new opportunities? You might jot down your thoughts to uncover a pattern you never noticed before.
- Assess your attitude. Your attitude is everything. How you perceive change affects the outcome of that change. For example, if you receive news that your employer is struggling to keep its doors open. To help save jobs, the CEO has decided to cut salaries by 10%. You just bought a new car. How do you respond? What is your attitude? Do you resist the change or look at it as an opportunity to do something different?
- Build a support network. “Lean on me, when you’re not strong; And I’ll be your friend; I’ll help you carry on.” Bill Withers knew what he was talking about in his popular song Lean On Me. Everyone needs support. The most successful people in the world would not have achieved their level of success without a strong network of supportive people. You’re no different. In any stage of life, but especially during change, seek and embrace the help of family, friends, peers, and mentors.
- Reset your goals. Change is hard because it requires us to reset our plans. Often we become so attached to our vision that it’s difficult to let it go. Even worse, we become attached to the how of reaching our vision. We’ve made plans. We’ve decided the path. We don’t want anything to get in the way. Then change does just that – it gets in the way. When change occurs, stop, get your bearings and reassess your goals. You may continue to pursue the same goals or you may choose an alternate path. In either case, use change as an opportunity to reevaluate what you want.
- Believe in yourself. You can accomplish great things. Change is an inevitable part of life. It happens and it will continue to happen over and over again. While there will be periods of uncertainty when change occurs, you must believe that you can navigate it successfully and that you’ll come out of it a better person.
People who master change realize that in life, change happens. They also view change as a learning experience. Change is an opportunity to understand yourself better, redefine your perspective, connect with others and reevaluate your future. Change is about personal growth. When you embrace change and learn from it, you will uncover opportunities to profit from it and use it as a tool to teach others. Change is good.
She is the author of The Unapologetic Woman.