“In the end it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are”. -Max Dupree
Lately I’ve been asked quite a bit to speak on the topic of change. Times are changing, and people are having a hard time keeping up with it. Organizations are restructuring, communities are growing rapidly, and individuals are trying now more than ever to grow personally and professionally.
So how to you manage all of the change that you experience on a regular basis? Whether the change is at the individual, organizational, or community level, the same coping strategies apply. Here are a few things to consider when trying to navigate and manage the anxiety and upheaval that can sometimes come with change:
1. Anticipate it. Change is often difficult when we’re caught off guard or frustrated that it’s happening. Rather than assuming you’re one project away from things settling down, expect that it change will continue to take place.
2. Be part of the solution. If you resist change too much, you are often seen as part of the problem. You want to be part of the solution. Make time to figure out what you can do to support the change, rather than resist it.
3. We are wired to resist change. But that doesn’t mean change is impossible. While our brain pre-disposes us to maintain the status quo, change can happened with focused attention and effort.
4. Focus on what you can control. Yes, you can influence others and situations, but the only thing you have complete control over is you and your reactions. Don’t waste time and energy trying to control external circumstances or people.
5. Surround yourself with positive, productive people. Nothing determines the success of any change effort more than the people you associate with. Distance yourself from negativity.
6. Manage your own morale. Don’t wait for others to motivate you or make you feel better. You must choose your own attitude and continually focus on renewing it.
7. Reframe the way you’re thinking. More often than not, change brings about positive results. Rather than viewing the change as negative, reframe it as an opportunity. Remember, it is what it is and all you can do is all you can do.