Since change can be so uncomfortable for most of us, finding ways of coping and embracing it is definitely challenging. Change can cause panic. When we are not in control and life throws a curve ball, panic can occur which unfortunately leads to haste and poor decision making. But when we expect change, plan for it, or learn how to navigate through it and come through it successfully, we allow change to sharpen us and teach us to be better prepared for the future. As insane as it seems, if you are a seasoned professional and leader you will eventually learn to anticipate change and run towards it and not away from it. You can learn to embrace change and welcome new phases in your life and the growing experiences they will bring when you:
Recognize the Journey
Change can propel you forward. Isn’t that your goal as a leader – progression and growth? And because you are bigger, greater, and beyond seeking a quick payoff, one-time fix, or a successful one time hit wonder, the goal is maintaining success over your lifetime and becoming the best version of yourself. More importantly your success and capabilities when done right will influence generations of future leaders and trailblazers. If you understand that your success is a journey versus a destination, then you know that change is inevitable and necessary. No journey is complete without change, shifts, new perspectives, and enlightened visions. This is not a chapter you can or should desire to skip as there is simply no progression or growth without effective change.
So many of us stress out about change because we associate it with failure. However, change shapes and molds us and is not a marker of failure but of growth. So instead of crumbling, embrace it and roll with the punches. You are getting better, wiser, more poised, and better equipped to serve those who rely on your skills and talent. You are bending but not breaking. So, when advancement, trends, customer interest, finances, or just life events cause you to alter your original plan, take it in stride and use every change as a teaching moment. The power to adapt is a powerful ability. In adaptation we learn to be flexible, regroup, and resist. We resist feeling defeated, discouraged, or quitting. We are so busy elevating ourselves to best adapt and conquer our new needs that we don’t have time to soak in pity or become anxious – only critical strategic thinking receives our time and energy. Making moves and persevering is when we thrive during a season of change. Remember, being able to adapt is a key skill that is required of any person, especially a leader.
Rely on your Team
Change is much easier to embrace when you have a team of colleagues or mentors who you can lean on. Objectivity is important and you may have subconscious biases that will hinder your ability to make effective changes and smooth transitions. Rely on your team for the following:
To hold you accountable to reaching your newly modified goals;
To embrace change with you and examine necessary changes to their role and responsibilities to support your vision; and
To be proactive and anticipate necessary changes. Assign the appropriate persons the task of forecasting change, studying the patterns and changes of your target market and clients.
Make it Personal
Change will happen in our personal lives and has the potential of impacting us at work. I would love to tell you that your well-being and ability to embrace change in your personal life will never affect your professional life, but that is simply not true. Family issues, work life integration, financial hardship, relationship changes, etc. naturally will affect our energy and progression at work. So, when you face change in your personal life, be it good or bad, seek solutions, accept what you have no control over, and use whatever resources you have to adjust to personal changes while still being successful at work. This requires embracing and taking on personal issues and changes so that you are in a mindset of adapting and creating solutions vs a mindset of despair or ignoring personal change. Ignoring or procrastinating personal change will eventually impact your ability to put your best foot forward at work so if you are going to embrace change include all the aspects of your life professional and beyond. This will require you to surround yourself with a true tribe – a true group of individuals – who will allow you to be yourself, be vulnerable, but push you to level up to continue moving onward and upward.
The best part about embracing change is that because change is often good, you will start to see good. Positive change has a snowball effect in our lives. One tiny change leads to the next, and the next, and the next and before you know it you are surrounded by fresh starts, smooth transitions, efficiency, and positivity. Total change doesn’t have to happen overnight, and in most cases, it should not. We are still human. It’s ok to plan, seek help, or take baby steps. However, you do have to just do it. Embrace the process, the stretching, and, most importantly, the growing. The other side awaits you.
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