Living with Change

 

In most spheres of life, from economics and business to technology and the environment - change, or at least the need for change, has become a fact of modern life.  Yet change, and the uncertainty that can accompany it, is a major source of stress and anxiety.  If the pace of change is to continue, and there are little signs of it abating, we need to ask ourselves; how ready and able are we to handle it?

There is something about change that leads most of us to be almost schizophrenic. On the one hand we relish the security that stability and certainty brings, on the other hand we know that change brings new opportunity, excitement and stimulus. Life would be very boring without it!

An important factor in coping with change is your own sense of stability. The greater a person’s sense of inner stability, the better able they tend to be at handling change.  This inner stability comes from self-confidence, belief in yourself and both knowing yourself well and being comfortable with who you are.

It is also true that the more stability there is your personal life, from home to relationships, family, hobbies and interests – the better able you will be to handle change in the workplace.

Unfortunately, when change happens, simply telling yourself to be more self-confident doesn’t really help!  What does help though is having an understanding of the change process, of what you are going to go through and what it is likely to feel like.

The starting point is to get over the initial surprise.  For some people this can happen very quickly whereas for others it will take longer.  There is no right or wrong here so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling.  Give yourself time and space and rely on the support of your friends, family and colleagues.

The next step is to spend time understanding the change; why is it happening, who is driving it, what will the consequences be?  Changes never seem so bad when you understand them as that understanding enables you to have some control over your own destiny.  Remember also that changes generally create opportunities as well as threats – one of those opportunities could be yours!

Finally you will get to the point where you accept the change.  By this time it is hoped that you are accepting it because you see a future for yourself, either within the “new world” or in some other role.

The fact is that the rate of change is accelerating so, like it or not, we are all going to have to learn to live with it.

 

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