There is NO time like the present to EMBRACE CHANGE.
It has been a rocky start to 2020 with LOTS of change world wide.
Change is scary, whether it’s big or small it generally comes with uncertainty and a fear of the unknown. Even when change is exciting, there is generally some feeling of fear. In today’s society, almost everyone is dealing with some form of change and probably on a daily basis.
Here are seven steps that I learned and have used several times:
1. Check what your necessary needs are
Go back to basics. The first thing I made sure of, was that my basic needs were met. After the jet lag disappeared I made sure I was getting enough sleep, made sure I was getting some exercise and decent food. When I finally started work, I made sure I had a good work/life balance (this was something I really lacked in England and was desperate to address) and made sure I really focused on getting a good balance of all of these things.
2. Ask yourself how much you can control
When a big change occurs, it’s important to figure out how much control over the situation you really have. As soon as I feel out of control of any situation in my life, the anxiety or stress kicks in. Understanding your role and how much you can change can help you put things in perspective. There is something called the “Circle of Concern and Influence” which I read about in a book by Stephen Covey “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” where he introduces this concept. What he is saying is that we should focus on what we can control, and not waste energy on the things that you cannot. It’s very true!
3. Celebrate the positives
Even though it can be a tough ask, focusing on the positives can really help you manage change. While the positive aspects of a situation might not be obvious to begin with, it’s worth seeking them out – no matter how small they might be. It’s likely that you will feel much better about the changes that you’re uncertain of, or are anxious about, if you find some positives from the situation. Cultivate a positive attitude and mindset towards change. If you face it with a negative attitude, you’re more likely to experience negative outcomes. This is something that I’ve practised many times and something my mom generally tries to do – even when we don’t want to hear it from each other, it can make a difficult situation more positive.
4. Make time for yourself
I am strong believer of making time for yourself. No matter what you go through in your day-to-day life, one of the best ways to stay balanced and maintain a feeling of happiness is to schedule in pockets of ‘me time’. Rather than rushing around and then trying to gain some kind of peace and serenity at the end of the day, it is better to carve out segments of time throughout your working day. Push time aside to watch a film, meditate, exercise, do yoga, read a book, drink a glass of wine (or a bottle) – anything that really makes you stop in your tracks and have that 10 minutes to breath and refocus.
5. Prepare your emotions
It’s important to accept the fact that you may be emotional during periods of change. It may be happiness, excitement or delight, but on the other hand, it could be feelings of fear, frustration, unhappiness or insecurity. Remember that these will have an impact on you and your energy levels, so, be prepared.
6. Take Action
If the unwanted change is within your control, take an active approach to dealing with it. Try setting yourself some short-term goals to proactively address any challenges. Focusing on the problem at hand, developing a plan of action, and asking for advice are useful active strategies.
7. Seek support
It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed if the change you’re facing is really big, or there’s too much change happening all at once. At times like this, think about where you can seek support. This may be family or friends or a professional. Having support was such a big thing for me when I moved this year and I would always say, have the courage to ask for help. Without the support of my Mom and Dad who are constantly there to talk to or to FaceTime me when I need a friendly face or just someone to talk to, my wonderful boyfriend who has supported me through one of the most difficult times in my life so far when I lost my nan, or from my best friends who answer as soon as I messaged them, I’m not sure I would have pulled through the last few weeks.
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you’re in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better”
So, just like the lobster who has to manage the change each time he outgrows his shell, we can learn to manage change and live a life of resilience.
Embrace the transition and see challenges as opportunities to thrive.
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