By Liz Pollack, MS, ACPEC, Leg Up Services
The Times They Are a-Changin’.” Bob Dylan crooned that tune in 1964 as an anthem for the political and social upheaval of the 1960s. It is a sentiment sung by many others and felt by most everyone in the last 50 years. Poor economy, lawsuits, new legislation, natural disasters, and a multitude of other variables have had a huge impact on our individual and professional lives. The lyrics of that song still ring true. Why? Because change is constant and endless.
That being the case, we must acquire skills to master change. We can’t just deal with it or ignore it and hope a change we like comes soon. We have to be so adept at change that it is a habit; simply a way of life. This requires us to be resilient, learn, adapt, and then apply what we learned to our circumstances. Do you have an unshakeable inner confidence that tells you that you can handle any change?
Follow These Steps to Master Change
See yourself as a “Creator of Circumstance.” Too often we see ourselves as victims of change. This leads to slow or no adaptation and puts all control and influence in the hands of fate and circumstance. Instead, you need to recognize that change means an opportunity to have an impact on the situation. Change doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of control. You can still influence the situation and make it your own. Instead of just seeing the negatives and disadvantages of the change, identify the benefits and positives and determine to make the most of those. Then find ways to minimize the disadvantages. Too many people start with the negatives and never move on. You must decide to accept and work with this change and put your own stamp on it.
Take time to analyze the situation before you react. Ask yourself, “Is this a problem, an opportunity, or a challenge?” Remember your long-term vision rather than what may change in the short term. In other words, perhaps this is just a stumble not a fall. You can overcome this. Look at the change and consider what difference this will make three months from now, six months from now, or a year from now. Often this gives some perspective and helps refrain from rushing in or overreacting.
Don’t let the past scare you off. Be in the moment. Make your choices based on what you know now, what you want to accomplish, and what you want your future to be. Welcome and embrace the learning the situation offers. Is your energy wrapped up in your effort to maintain the status quo rather than to learn and grow? Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Trust yourself. You are equipped with what you need to get through. Anything you may lack you can still acquire. Look for resources around you. Friends, family, therapists, coaches, teachers — they are available to you.
It’s important to note that these steps come at the beginning of change. In short, most of the difficulty of change comes from allowing ourselves to drop into old habits and be dominated by old fears. Clearly, the times they are always a-changin’, but, with a little upfront work, you’ll be able to make the most of the situation and come out on top.
Are you trying to cope with change? Need some assistance? Everyone does! Contact Liz Pollack, MS, ACPEC, certified Life Coach, and owner of Leg Up Services. For more information, call 309-370-4492 or visit www.legupservices.com.
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