How are You with Change?
Love it, loathe it? Do you know others who are similar to you, or the opposite?
If change is your thing – if it energises and enthuses you – then today’s world is full of opportunity and invigoration. ‘New’ is all around. Technology marches on.
It’s for the change adverse that life is often more challenging. As Ogden Nash observed “Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long”.
So what can you do if you’re the sort of person who prefers structure, routine and likes to plan things out, but find that the world around you seems to just refuse to stand still? You could stubbornly wait for the world to stop changing. Or try some other strategies. Here are some top tips:
- As well as focusing on the change, focus on what is remaining the same. When you take a wider perspective, and look at the change through a bigger frame, the chances are that much of your life, its circumstances and its relationships, are not changing that much
- Look back on all the changes you have been through before. Use all your change intelligence to know that you have, and can, experience change and come out the other side still breathing and maybe even better off in some respects
- During the change concentrate your thoughts and efforts on what you can control. At an individual level we cannot easily directly influence social injustice, government policy or stock market volatility. However we can influence in our own immediate world, we can vote, we can mitigate against fluctuations in our financial fortunes and we can concentrate on those things where we have autonomy
As an overriding principle, focus not on imposed change but your reaction to the change. Start by noticing your thoughts and your language. How open or closed are your thoughts? How black and white? How emotionally charged?
Stephen Covey wrote about the gap between stimulus and response. Choosing your response, in that gap that exists - rather than simply reacting - is a mindset and skill that can be practiced and refined.
Take redundancy as an example. Rather than being a catalyst for catastrophe, change can be a chance to create new beginnings.
Retirement too, may have fears for some, but much is the same as before. And much of what is new can at least be created (or co-created) rather than left to fate.
Whether you love change or loathe it, it’s here to stay.
Pictured Below: 'Everyday Performance' by Jim Constable and Barry Wyatt – "an entertaining, informative and easy read on how to perform better at what you do!"