Change is inevitable. It’s a part of life that we cannot avoid. Yet, most people find change to be daunting and intimidating. I completely understand this, because humans crave certainty and change can mean losing something we know to be 'safe'.
Recently I moved to Singapore on very short notice. My original thoughts on moving my family (yet again) was dread and then annoyance. But with a trained focus, I was able to shift from that negative and overwhelming state, and so my number one tip for anyone else facing impending change is to separate the facts from your emotions.
When I was consumed and clouded by my emotions, I was operating from a place of fear and a perceived lack of control, and that robbed me of my 'can do' attitude AND importantly the ability to find any of the potential opportunities or positives in the situation. So I stopped, took a breath and started writing down all of the negative emotions I was feeling, being as specific as I could. Once I had everything dumped on a page, and could acknowledge that these were all completely normal feelings, I was then ready to pivot to the facts.
- What were the fixed elements in the situation?
- What do I need to accept?
- What can I control?
- What hardships can I mitigate, offset or minimise?
- What advantages are there in all of this?
- What help is available?
By firstly recognising and noting my emotions, I was able to activate the rational part of my brain and more effectively move into problem solving mode. With pen in hand, I then felt the desire to get a little 'to-do list' and early plan in place. As I started looking forward, more and more benefits began to present. Nor surprisingly, I moved from feeling helpless to somewhat capable, and that little bit of optimism fuelled my excitement for the next great adventure in our lives!
Of course, there isn't a 'one size fits all' approach to change, but there are some very good places to start, that will quickly help you become more comfortable with discomfort.
The fact is, there usually is a lot of goodness in change, you just have to shift your approach to reveal it.
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