THE SEASONS OF CHANGE
If you have been in the corporate business world for some time, you know that change is the one constant. If you want to exercise your change muscles, the corporate business world is a place that will make you the super athlete of change, because ours is a marathon. The industry and competition have created an environment where change is survival, and refusing to change is no longer an option for a viable, successful business.
Some people embrace change and others are challenged by the very thought of it. Often we resist change because we are in a safe place of complacency. We begin a time of transition when we encounter change. Transition is where the hard work of change happens and where we are most challenged, but it can be a source of renewal if managed deliberately.
Whether you look forward to a change or fear it, it has a powerful impact on your emotions. However, you can increase your sense of control and steer your life into positive place when you know how to manage through the change.
So with that said, nix the go-with-the-flow attitude. That just sets you up for stress, anxiety and fear. Do not resist or fight change. Fueled by anger and frustration, you will sap your strength and find yourself detached and victimized.
Unless you can shift your perception on change- you will continue to resist and struggle with the unknown and experience more stress then needed. Although it is a cliché to say “when one door closes, another one opens”, it is in essence the positive view on change. Do not resist the change, make a conscious decision to choose your attitude about the change and remind yourself that change is a process. Negative thoughts block innovation and critical thinking abilities. Positive thoughts build bridges to possibilities. Reframing your viewpoint on change, and having patience with yourself through the process, is the most important component of being able to get through the transition.
As you are re-framing your view on change, consider meditation or walking, or some other way to breathe deeply and relax. Slowing down even for small moments helps you deal better with change. Prepare to move forward with the change because it will happen. Simply notice that you are in the midst of change and that change is a part of you. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it takes some practice to become aware of change instead of subconsciously denying it. In addition to meditation and walking, try being creative. If you like to write, consider writing about changes you notice. If you like art, consider painting, or other creative projects. No one’s life is free of change. And if it was, you would not feel like you were making progress in life. Relaxing and finding an outlet allows your brain to deliberately begin its re-framing of change.
Next, you must, face your feelings about the change, especially when the change is imposed and beyond your control. Get past the “Why me” and “It isn’t fair”. Figure out what your fears are, try writing about your feelings. You don’t have to be a victim, even when you are not in control of the change.
Adopt an attitude of anticipation. Try to open yourself up to seeing change as an opportunity. Find the benefits the change can offer. There is always an opportunity and if you are driven by negative emotions, you will miss it. Do not dwell on the past. When you focus on the past versus the future you will find yourself in a place of “spin”. “Spin” is constant complaining about what was, what could have been, what should have been. Talking through the transition you are going through is not the same as complaining. Especially when change is being imposed on you, “spin” is something that does not look good on most folks.
The last but certainly not the least advice I can give you so you can consciously guide the change, is to set smart goals. Smart goal setting helps you decide how to make the change happen and to recognize your successes; especially short terms goals which are critical to support feelings of progress. Write out your goals and your plans to meet your goals, and check in with them often.
I realize this advice is easier given then done. But when you consciously choose to think this way, you experience a positive difference in how you deal with change. If you are experience change and would like some tools or direction on getting support, please reach out to me directly.