The ABCs of Coping with Change

Change is all around us, happening faster and faster. If we haven’t learned the skills to cope with change, we will become super-stressed. Stress makes us stupid… and then we become less and less effective.

How are you at coping with change? Do you have the skills? Have you learned the techniques?

Let me give you the ABCs of coping with change. Big change. Little change. Important change. Piddlin’ change. “Good” change. “Bad” change.

AAcknowledge and honor your endings.

BBegin to explore the possibilities in the transition state….

CCommit to the change and begin to regain control.

A – Acknowledge and honor your endings.

When something changes, the former is left behind… lost. Something has ended. This can result in denial, resistance, or trigger the grief process. To help with this, acknowledge that something is left behind… and honor that which was good in it.

We like the status quo so much, that when something changes, it almost always due to an external force… something outside our control. When this happens we feel a loss of control. And we don’t like it.

Which leads us to the chaos of the transition state….

B – Begin to explore the possibilities in the transition state….

To effectively cope with this discomfort of a loss of control and the chaos of the transition state, we have to (paradoxically) become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

One aid in this is to use the things you carry forward from the endings (the things you honored) as an anchor during the chaotic times. Another is to accept that you will have good days and bad days as you transition to coping with the change. Those bad days are temporary… they will pass.

Use the turmoil that comes with the transition inherent in change to spark your creativity.

Start to seek out the ways that this change can benefit… benefit you and/or your team. You are now beginning to create options for yourself. The first step in the process of regaining control.

C – Commit to the change and begin to regain control.

Pick what seems to be the best plan from the exploration you did in the transition state and commit to it. As you commit to the decision, you will find inner and outer resources crystallize to assist you in your plan. Commitment returns a sense of control to you.

You have now begun to proactively deal with the change and how you can use it. You are back in control of your life. (Or as much control as any of us ever have.)

Important: Resilience and adaptability are the most important factors in successfully managing change.

What about you? Is there something you have done to successfully manage change that I didn’t cover? Share your experience with us (use the comments.) We would love to have your take on it.

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