… and I don’t mean coins. Change is required for growth, but what’s the best way to manage change?
Your entire life is based on change. Starting from birth you’ve learned so much by changing both small and large parts of you and your life. You’ve moved, changed jobs, added and removed relationships (platonic and romantic), learned new information, added habits. If you were to look back and note every single thing in your life that has changed you’d have an almost endless list. You know you have to change to grow and improve yourself, but what if the changes coming your way aren’t what you want, or weren’t in your “plan”?
A dear friend of mine just got engaged to a woman he’s had a long-distance relationship with for two years. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Mike, as he is both a friend and mentor, so I am filled with joy to see he and Laura take their love to the next stage. Long distance relationships are extremely challenging, but they chose to make that change in their world, to their perception and expectations, because they thought (assumed and took the risk) that their connection was worth it. That change was difficult for them, at first, but that change helped them both grow and learn. Now they’re embracing more change! A move, a wedding, full-time living together… huge things, but all positive, right?
All change is taxing on humans, positive or negative. We have biological elements that drive us to maintain our habits. Anything that challenges a habit is fought. Any habit, all habits, whether we like the habit or not, whether we want to change or not. Your brain may (or may not) embrace learning something new, but putting it into your daily life is a whole other thing.
There are many times in life where a change is not desired by you, but you’re not in a position to avoid it. How can you adapt to a change you don’t like?
- Assess your emotional stability and resilience. You own your actions and reactions to everything around you. No matter what the situation, you have full accountability for your actions. So give up the victim mentality and take accountability first. Starting off with authenticity and accountability will lay a foundation to sound actions.
- You can influence an outcome only when you engage. If you avoid conflict, you will not influence an outcome. If you fail to mature your communication level, you will not influence an outcome. You must engage and communicate with purpose to be heard and understood. This requires enhanced communication skills. If you don’t care what the outcome is, what the change will mean to you, then you don’t have to engage. I’d recommend not spending any energy on topics you have no opinion on. However, if you do have an opinion (based on your authentic self), you must engage.
- Understand that not all changes will impact you positively, and that’s okay. Positive and negative are subjective. You may see an initial change as great, or lousy. Another way to look at a change in which you foresee, or actually experience, a negative impact is to see it as an interim change for a better future. Don’t think of what you have to give up, focus on what you have to gain. You will experience changes you don’t want, and if you’re a typical human you’re likely to experience unwanted changes many, many times in your life. Your outlook, your perception, and your attitude influence how you experience and adapt to the change. Finding the opportunity to grow, benefit, and learn from all changes will create a positive and fulfilling life. Look forward, look for the opportunity, see beyond your comfort zone. See a positive and fulfilling outcome.