There is an old saying, “the only constant in life is change.” This is especially true in an environment that seeks to continuously improve. We hear a lot about the discipline of change management. But what if we sought to reach beyond just managing change and instead fully embraced it?
The reality is that even when change is positive is can be unsettling. Embracing change means that you must be willing to take a risk and to relinquish some of your control. Whether you are a person who enjoys change and handles it well, or you hate it and are totally stressed out by the idea, there are some things that you can do and think about to more calmly and effectively deal with change when it shows up.
Embracing change, whether it is career change or life changes, means that you must be willing to take a risk and to relinquish some of your control.
=Understand how you deal with change. As with so many of these core values, a little self-awareness goes a long way. Knowing how you deal with change, what stresses you out about it, and what support you need as you move through the change process are all important elements of embracing change. Except for major, catastrophic changes, it is rarely the event itself that causes anxiety, it’s our anticipation of and reaction to change that causes stress and difficulty. Altering your relationship to change can make you more successful in dealing with it.
=Acknowledge and express your true feelings, especially if your feelings are fear. Fear of failure and fear of the unknown are common factors in why people choose not to embrace change. We fear not making good decisions. We are concerned about the ramifications if things don’t work out well. We dislike moving out of our comfort zone. We are worried about unexpected problems. There is nothing wrong with any of the emotions we experience during change, the problems begin when we don’t acknowledge and express our emotions.
=Ask questions. Change is much easier to deal with when we remove the unknown. In a work scenario this includes asking as many questions as you need to in order to understand the process. A risk will seem less daunting if you have a general plan of action and steps to get there. While we know it is important to stay flexible, having checkpoints along the way will help us to stay focused and motivated to achieve our long-term goals. Make sure you fully understand the reasons, objectives, and expectations for the change.
=Be passionate about the changes ahead. Those around you will take their cues from you. If you seem nervous or uncertain so will they, but if you choose to be enthusiastic you will get those around you excited too.
=Have an open mind and keep things in perspective. When you take a risk you may not see the big rewards immediately, so be sure to celebrate small victories along the way. Having an open mind will also help you to stay positive.
=Keep your eyes on the prize. Motivation comes from commitment. Remember that growth is not a straight line and you have to be willing to go out on a limb to get where you want to go in the long run.
Finally, have empathy and compassion for yourself and others in going through change. It’s not easy for most of us. No matter what your goals are, you must be willing to take a risk and embrace change in order to grow and achieve the success you desire and deserve.
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