Don’t Let the Change Break You, Let it Make You!
The other week I had an opportunity to provide some strategies to help people navigate the uncertainty that can change can bring as Nova presented the Embracing Change webinar. Certainly, the 17 months has had the whole world in a constant state of drastic change due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Let’s face it, even apart from the pandemic, change is everywhere, and our lives don’t always go as planned.
In the webinar, I talked about how change is the only constant in life and although we may approach it with fear and trepidation, it is a necessary component of growth and advancement. New doors of opportunity and possibilities open when things change.
I shared the following approaches which we can all use to help us when we encounter a change we find challenging.
See Change Differently
Consider asking, “what is this change trying to teach me?” Maybe it’s patience and perseverance, and that we’re stronger than we think. Maybe it’s trying to teach humility and empathy which ultimately helps us become better leaders, parents, partners, co-workers, and friends. Some ways to change your perspective are by reading books, listening to podcasts and videos that encourage us to see the positive side of change and develop a sense of confidence in our ability to handle the change. In the webinar and in my podcast, I shared some of the books I read that help me look at change in a more positive way.
Think & Speak Positively About the Change
Along with seeing the change differently, another effective strategy to embracing change is paying attention to what we’re thinking about the change. As best-selling author, Jon Acuff, says, “when we don’t control our thoughts, our thoughts control us…(our) thoughts are our worst enemy, holding us back from the things we really want.”
The media, our co-workers, friends, and family may tell us to fear our future, to fear the change, and that we are powerless victims of unfortunate circumstances. Consequently, our thoughts about the change may be negative, fear-based, and foster a victim mindset. They talk us out of our potential.
We need to learn to dominate our thoughts by investing time into thinking and speaking positively about ourselves and our futures. We can make our thoughts work FOR us and not against us. Our thoughts can become our superpower!
Here is just a sample of new thoughts that we can dwell on and speak out throughout the day to reprogram our thinking:
- I CAN do it! I’ll take it one moment at a time.
- I am totally adequate for all situations.
- I am open to change
- I can adapt
- I am getting comfortable being uncomfortable
- Out of this situation only good will come.
- Things are always working out for me.
- I am safe, it’s only change. My life gets better all the time.
- Something good is going to happen to me today!
- I turn every experience into an opportunity.
We need to not only think these thoughts but speak out these words frequently and embrace the concepts. The power comes in believing them and to believe them we may need to do some work. Even professional and Olympic athletes hire self-talk coaches to help them stay positive and overcome their negative thoughts. We have just as much potential to overcome any challenge as they do, but we need to make a consistent effort.
Take Action and Aim for Small Wins
Like Nike says, “Just Do It!” We need to take small steps forward and behave every day as if we believe the change is a good idea. Liane Davey, Ph.D. suggests some questions we could ask ourselves:
- What’s one thing I could do today in line with the change?
- How would I do this task differently?
- How should I reprioritize my activities based on the change?
We could enlist the help of a coach or a mentor to help us through the change. Another strategy is to prioritize self care, set small achievable goals, and let go of unhealthy relationships and habits that keep us locked into negative modes of thinking and behaving.
In summary, when we feed our minds and spirits with empowering thoughts, speak encouraging words over ourselves and take some small actions, the momentum generated from these little steps can help us experience the growth, advancement and possibilities that change can bring.
Written by blog contributor, Rhonda Reist, Broker Experience Director for Nova Mutual