We look at a change from individual perspectives: a trader is different from a doctor, an actor – from an entrepreneur. Personally, I moved countries, changed professions, and became passionate about a variety of subjects ranging from performing arts to management consulting. However, a similar feeling emerged at the beginning of each change management experience: a feeling of discomfort.
It starts at the point when something changes and that directly affects our vision of the future.
We may have worked hard for that future or simply rejoiced thinking about it. But now it has changed. We can’t have it anymore. And that’s a painful loss.
So how can we best manage change? I discussed this question with ex-change vlog guests John Gaudet, Lia Leveillé Mettral, Charles de Tourney and Swithun Still. They shared deeply personal stories of challenging situations, trials and errors to find own strategies for dealing with professional and life changes. Here is a summary of their lessons learned.
Change management strategy #1: keep your head up.
It’s natural to feel disoriented by change, but it is important to see the full picture of what is going on. When first emotions subside, we need to construct the most objective view of the new reality.
What exactly has happened? Who is involved, how and why? What is at stake? Which options do we have? Answering these questions also buys us time, often preventing disastrous first reactions that we regret later.
Change management strategy #2: accept that you cannot “undo” it.
Ignoring the change can give us a temporary relief but will not transform the reality. Denying change is even worst as we cannot change past events but we’d feel frustrated by failed attempts to do so.
Remember that we do not need to agree with the change, but we have to accept that it’s happened. It exists. This step is our starting point in moving towards a different future.
Change management strategy #3: bring the focus inside.
Change can trigger multiple consequences for our lives, health, money, reputation, self-esteem etc. It’s tempting to search for a “magical” recipe to cope with them. Unfortunately, it does not exist.
As our view of the world is deeply unique, so is our experience of change. It’s very easy to become drowned in the external advice, but it would only take us away from our true selves. Instead, we should use our values as the North Star for managing life changes. Our future must be aligned with who we are and what we believe in.
Change management strategy #4: lean on your support team.
Most of the time, we are not in it alone.Our family and friends have not changed. Well, at least, not all of them. They are our safe base to release pain and to heal.
It is important to let go of feeling ashamed, defeated, or selfish. Let’s not let self-doubts cripple to our expectations of support and understanding from others. Honestly, if our loved ones were going through the same thing, would we hesitate to help?
Allow yourself time to grieve. It’s not until later when we become ready to venture out, take risks and work hard for our new future.
Heraclitus said: “Nothing is permanent, except change”. Through our lives, we are constantly learning and adjusting our ways to manage it. At the end, change is above all human. Hope this post was helpful to you today.