Welcome to the world we live in today, one of seemingly constant change. A recent study ranked “resistance to change” as number 4 in a list of the most common career-limiting habits. One key thing to remember is that change is a combination of chaos and opportunity. Those who are resistant are only looking at one side of the equation and in turn creating massive amounts of stress for themselves. They’re forgetting about the opportunity and focusing only on the chaos. And who can blame them?
We all know that change is the only constant in life and nowhere is that more true than in the workplace. Technology alone forces us to be adaptable and learn new things on nearly a daily basis. The business world is always evolving in big ways and small (think: mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, etc.).
Change is absolutely unavoidable so, as the trekkies say, resistance is futile. Successful professionals have to be willing to embrace change, even when the outcome is still unknown. And the same holds true for change and the impact on us personally as well. IT IS UNAVOIDABLE. Accept that fact.
How can you handle change positively? Here are some tips, courtesy of a blogger and self-described work-life balance examiner, Fran Bozarth.
1. Remember that change is a natural part of our existence – it happens whether you accept it or not. This is not something you have control over, so let it go. Put your energy into being resilient and coming through the change creatively.
2. See this as an opportunity. Think about it – change may be uncomfortable, but on the other hand, it also changes the parameters in which we operate. You have been given an opportunity for growth!
3. Know that it’s entirely normal to be resistant to change. The stages of grief are also important emotional stages when facing any kind of change. (Denial, Resistance,Exploration, Acceptance/Commitment)
4. Pay attention to your attitude. Fighting some changes is like beating your head against a brick wall. Don’t waste your energy on it! Find ways to channel your energy in a positive direction. This will increase your sense of empowerment, and help you feel more resilient in the face of such change.
5. Most importantly, form a support network. This might be people who are also undergoing the change, or might have to be people who are NOT experiencing the change you are undergoing. The call is yours.
Remember, you may not have control over the changes that come at you, but you DO have control over your responses. That, in itself, is pretty empowering.
In the coming months we will be exploring in greater depth how to master and take control of change and how that can impact our work lives and personal lives positively. It’s all about results!