Lately I’ve been talking with professionals and fellow business owners, and a consistent theme I hear is one of massive change. In fact, I haven’t talked with anyone who says they’re succeeding with tools they used even last year! Shifts in our economic and political landscape are forever changing how we work. The old “how to succeed in business” rules just don’t apply anymore.
So, how do you thrive in a shifting landscape? I go back to basics. Have you noticed that the cycles of nature are consistent? The flowers of spring burst forth, whether or not we’re ready for them. Branches that looked dead in winter suddenly sprout new leaves. And, just as in nature, change cycles occur in our lives too, whether we’re ready or not! The good news is that there is a predictable cycle to change and it looks like this:
The Change Cycle
STAGE 1: RESIST (We hesitate or are immobilized due to fear, shock, or denial.)
Strategies: Seek to understand. Be open; suspend judgment. Be unconditionally kind.
STAGE 2: SEARCH (We question…. everything! as emotions surface.)
Strategies: Become an observer of yourself; allow yourself to feel emotions without analyzing them. Schedule 15 minute ‘tantrums’! (sounds weird but giving yourself full permission to wallow 15 min./day can help you move on!) Access trusted supports who will simply listen and help you find your strengths.
STAGE 3: RESPOND (We create something new, as we decide how we will live life now that this change has occurred.)
Strategies: Celebrate your growth and build on the faith you have developed in yourself. Deliberately choose what you will leave behind and what you will carry forward, as you create your life from this new perspective.
Life Is Change…………. Growth Is Optional
Change is the one thing we all have in common. It will be with each of us until we die, so why not learn how to deal with it? I know it’s not easy, but these strategies can help you navigate through change. (Personally, I have a low tolerance for feeling bad, so I’ve been using and perfecting these tools for years and know they work!).
As an adult, circumstances might force you to create a new life chapter. Or you may simply want to reboot your current life. You can’t predict what the future will bring nor where your path may lead. But one thing is certain. Change will be your constant companion….and it will get faster! To thrive, learn how to grow through change, no matter what your age or situation. Do you know how to do that?