Change is inevitable, but it can catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. Big changes at work or in the bigger world can wreak havoc on even the best laid plans. When everything around you begins to shift, you may find yourself having to pivot in a new direction.
These shifts can be stressful and intimidating, especially if you’re moving into uncharted territory. Learning to manage change effectively can help you thrive in a transforming landscape.
Lean into new ways of addressing and working through change with the following practices:
Understand Change is Part of the Journey: We live in a dynamic, ever-evolving world. Change is part of the landscape, but when it directly impacts your life it can feel like you’re the only one in the world who’s stressing. Know you are not alone and that everyone experiences both good and challenging change along the way.
Stay Positive: Change brings uncertainty, and uncertainty can lead to fear if that energy isn’t channeled to a positive space. Find ways to bring positive perspectives into your day. Listen to uplifting music, find a good podcast, find some comedy on TV and laugh out loud.
Increase communication: The best times call for solid communication skills. When you’re amid change, it’s important to increase both the frequency and depth of communication, especially when you’re in a fast-moving, ever-changing environment. Reach out with questions, provide frequent updates, check in with others and ask for feedback to ensure you’re in the loop and have the latest information.
Evaluate the new landscape: As things change the landscape around you also shifts to reveal new ways of working and being. As you assess the situation around you, keep a lookout for:
Accept What You Can’t Control | Focus on What You Can: There are aspects of change that are beyond your control and you can drive yourself and those around you crazy trying to control the uncontrollable. This route often descends into negativity and complaining while precious time ticks by and nothing gets done. Take a moment to come to terms with the uncontrollable and make a choice to focus on areas where you can make a difference. Focusing on what is within your control pivots you into a positive space where meaningful work, productivity and progress can happen.
Maintain human connection: Stay connected to family, friends and coworkers during times of change. A network of support for yourself and others who are going through the same experience can help reduce stress. Having a community of like-minded people also allows you to lift each other when you’re down and needing encouragement – and it reminds you that you are not alone.
Have a Plan: Instead of reacting to change with fear, panic or useless action, focus on creating a plan to deal with the situation. The process of planning helps focus energy and effort. It puts you in a position to address the issue head-on instead of blindly reacting. When you create your plan, consider the following:
Practice Self-care: Change, even when it’s good change, is stressful. Counter stress and burnout by practicing self-care. If you’re not able to help yourself and end up burnt out and sick, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
Remember that all things will eventually settle, and a new landscape will emerge from change. Ride the wave and stay on top of your change experience with the ideas listed above. You will come out the other side of your experience stronger, wiser, and more resilient than you started.