It is a good idea to analyze and examine closely the demands of change.
Questions to ask could be:
- What exactly is happening?
- Am I in control?
- What is new here?
- How must I adapt?
- What are my options?
- What are the potential roadblocks?
- Am I challenged to the point of being stuck?
- What will happen if I don’t take action?
- What will happen if I take action?
- Do I need additional help navigating this change?
- Who could help me?
- What positive action could I take now?
- What are the expectations being placed on me?
- What is the cost-benefit of this change?
- What was gained?
- What was lost?
- How am I dealing with loss?
- What do I have to sacrifice?
- What basic needs are disturbed by this change?
- What is my internal self-talk? Is it one of acceptance or resistance?
Ways to manage the stress that change can bring
As I have mentioned throughout this article change is stressful. It demands more from our daily lives. Being resilient and prepared helps to alleviate some of the stress. Some of the ways in which stress levels can be managed include exercise, journaling, prayer, affirmations, visualization, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing techniques.
An attitude of gratitude and acceptance can take us far when it comes to adjusting to change. Knowing and accepting that change is demanding, risky, and expansive better equips us to handle it.
Another type of change could be more planned or controlled in nature. Maybe the person is attempting to make some changes to better improve their quality of life. There is really an unlimited number of changes that we are faced within our daily lives.
Our ability to manage them is critical to our personal wellbeing, our mental and emotional states.
Without proper change management techniques in place we can find ourselves confused, frustrated, stuck, going around in circles, feeling unsupported, blaming ourselves or others, and even unfulfilled.
A mindset to support the belief that “Change is inevitable and a part of life.” is a good one to have. How we react to change is completely up to us. We can fight it or embrace it. Fighting change that will serve us or embracing change that is will not are both futile.
We should be able to see change as a natural part of life, a necessity for growth, and seek to understand its value.
If we fail to see the benefit when one exists, we are missing out on an opportunity to progress and grow. So, the first step is to recognize it, accept it, and seek to identify its value.
An awareness of the need for change can help us answer questions such as:
- Why is the change happening?
- What is the risk of not changing?
- What is being demanded of me by this change?
Managing the Change
The next step would be to plan as much as is possible a structured approach to managing the instability that change can generate.
When dealing with change at a practical level, you might have to look at what additional knowledge, skills, and behavior are required during and after the change.
Some of the proven techniques include centering and being present practices, mindfulness, self-reflection, or contemplative practices such as prayer.
Other ways could be in the form of joining support groups and meeting other like-minded people who have experienced similar changes so as to gain insights from them.
You could seek additional help from mentors, guides, and coaches who can help you navigate the change in a more open manner.
Asking powerful questions about the change can also be useful. Examples:
- What change is needed?
- Why must things change?
- How do I need to change?
- How is the situation changing?
- How is this changing stressing me?
- What do I need to do to be more adaptive?
- Who can I ask for help?
- What is the benefit of the change?
- If I am finding it difficult, what and where is the obstacle?
- Am I resisting this change in any way?
- What are my thoughts about the change?
- What are my feelings about the change?
- How could change be of value?
- How could change help me grow?
Change cannot be avoided or denied. It must be embraced and managed. We must strive to appreciate the benefits of lasting change in spite of the apparent chaos and confusion it initially presents.