Every time I have made a big change in my life, I become more aware of the struggle with change – you feel it personally in every way. And yet, change is everywhere. We make changes in our diet. We make changes in our routine. We experience change in leadership or in the workplace. We experience change with businesses and even their products. Change is everywhere.
More often than not, we respond to change in one of two ways: we accept it or we resist it – we embrace it or we reject it – we celebrate it or we condone it. Just like genuine acceptance of change can be wide-spread, so is our struggle with accepting change.
When you have experienced change, in whatever setting – big or small, how have you responded to it? Take a moment and reflect upon those experiences. There are probably different aspects of change each person naturally responds to in a positive way. And there are probably different aspects of change that you have encountered that you struggle with more. It is vital to know these things about yourself.
With recent change in my life, I have been learning that the first step in this battle with change is to identify for yourself (and each one of us is a bit unique in this), but to identify for yourself those elements of change that are easy for you to respond to and then to also identify what types of change are harder for you to deal with. The first step is knowing your strengths and then operating from within your strengths. If we focus on our failure or areas of struggle first, then we are constantly in an uphill battle with our emotions and even our actions. Change is everywhere, so become more self-aware about how you either champion change and how you struggle with it.
I have also been learning how valuable communication is to combat the struggle with change. If you think about it, when we start to fail to thrive with change or when we fail to cope with change it comes back to communication. And we have to be honest about all methods of communication. Discussion of half-truths or misconceptions about the change we face, only tends to lead to gossip and gossip does not usually help combat the struggle with change.
So you can talk about an issue over and over again, but the way you talk about it and who you talk about it with can either help you process the change or spiral you into a deeper struggle with change. Such a simple step, such a small action – it can help you or hinder you. When change has occurred in your life, who do you go to and discuss this change with? And where have those discussions lead you? Have they given you perspective and allowed you to vent and process the change you face so you can respond in a healthy way?
When we encounter change, we need to know if this change is something we can handle, or if it falls within an area we struggle in. And we need to communicate about the change. We need to ask clarifying questions that are productive. We need to speak out how this change makes us feel or impacts us or the things that are important to us. We cannot remain silent if we are confused or frustrated – that never results in anything good. Yes, if “you do not have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all.” Yet, we must process change and discuss it in a way that is good so that it can be talked through. Your voice, or your concern with change, is most powerfully heard when it is spoken the right way and when it is spoken to the right people.
Change is everywhere. Some change is big and some change is small. Ultimately we cannot control how others respond to change. We can not them them how to deal with their own struggle with change. However, we can help ourselves and others by learning how we personally process with change and we must examine how we discuss change – to eliminate for ourselves those modes of communication that keep us struggling with change. We can become examples of how to deal with change – not just contributors to the struggle with change.
Change is everywhere, yet true change starts within you. What do you need to transform within your thoughts and communication so that the way you experience change is more helpful for yourself and for those around you? May you seek to no longer be bound by mans struggle with change!