How to deal with change

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January 5, 2017
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February 14, 2017

Are you concerned with the changes that you are facing? Are you feeling unsure if you are prepared for what is  coming? Are you feeling overwhelmed and not too confident about your ability to lead yourself (and others) during times of uncertainty and change? Take a look at common myths with regards to change and where to go from there:

 

Myth # 1: 

We think “Things will work themselves out”.

Nugget of Truth:

We are often afraid of change and hold on to old things even if they are no longer how they used to be. We may want to insist in our pursuit of what used to work instead of making ourselves available to grow and change. However, change in incremental steps (also known as step-by-step) allows us to become less afraid and to feel more in control. Incremental change will boost our self-confidence and ability to cope. How you will get there? Try out a self-leadership strategy to create step-by-step change.

 

Myth # 2: 

Change is complicated and multi-faceted.

Nugget of  Truth:

Don’t overanalyze or overcomplicate things. Often times, when a situation changes, the changes to be made may not be as huge as they appear. Nor are the discrepancy between requirements and existing skills. Ask yourself: What can I “roll over” from my previous situation to master the new challenge? Which strategies did I apply when I started out? Consider adjusting your course of action one step at a time and go with the flow of change instead of trying to swim against it.

 

Myth # 3:

Change will happen over night.

Nugget of Truth:

Change happens when we envision ourselves doing something differently and -in realistic detail- elaborate to ourselves how we will find something better. This can happen by looking at the mistakes we made in the past and how we can use them to plan for the future. For example, if creating a game plan is difficult, consider running new situations by a trusted friend or peer. The feedback that you will receive will help you to be more prepared for your future course of action.

 

Myth # 4:

I have nothing to fear.

Nugget of Truth:

Dealing with change can trigger our beliefs about inadequacy, not measuring up, our black-and-white thinking or negative self-talk. The art is to not confuse yourself with fearful beliefs but to discern what realistic thoughts to engage in. While healthy fear can keep us out of danger and should be respected, most fears are irrational and may keep us from changing when we need to change.

Consider jotting down your thoughts with regards to a change you are facing. Writing down your thoughts will help you discern between which thoughts to keep and what thoughts to disengage from: you get what you focus on.

 

Myth # 5:

If I am missing my chance [for change/improvement/growth], my opportunity will be lost.

Nugget of Truth:

There will be always opportunities to grow and develop, change that will be positive, good things possible despite of uncertainty. However, we may not recognize this at the time when change is knocking at our door. Know that you will be rewarded when you go past your fear, open your door  and enjoy the adventure that comes along with change. Are you concerned about making mistakes? Educate yourself on rookie mistakes with regards to change and how to avoid them.

 

Myth # 6:

Change should be exciting.

Nugget of Truth:

Feelings about change are not good predictors of how well equipped we are, how we are doing as we are dealing with change, or how we mastered the changes that we have already mastered. Often times we do not like getting used to new ways that come with change. However, look back count the blessings that came in disguise with previous moments of change. Even if it may not feel so at the time of change, often times change has bestowed on us something better than we could envision as we were in the midst of change.

 

Myth # 7: 

I have no choice or control when it comes to the change that I am facing.

Nugget of Truth:

When we are exploring a little at a time to stay aware of what is happening around us, we create safety: being aware of what is happening allows us to see our healthy choices. Making healthy choices even if our circumstances are changing will keep us in a better place than if we choose to isolate ourselves or refuse to move beyond our comfort zone. Practicing healthy choices and doing whatever we can do to avoid being surprised by unexpected change is the key to healthy control while facing the unknown.