Change: A Reality We Can Learn to Embrace

Let’s talk about change. We’ve been going through a lot of change, and each time we adjust, more disruptions and more unsettling news seems to come at us. So how can we learn to embrace change, and perhaps even thrive from it?

Change Can Be a Boom

This point in history that we’re living in — and it really is an historical moment — has made us face ourselves, our families, our pursuits, our social groups, and made us question what we truly want, need and desire from our lives. It has been quite profound.

Some have used this pandemic as an opportunity to create an entirely new life by successfully pivoting their careers, while others have used it to create more balance in their personal lives. Many have done both.

That’s a positive outcome — the uncertainty of this era has driven us to change ourselves and rearrange our lives, in order to adapt, but has also driven some to rehabilitate, or overhaul, our lives and careers in really dramatic ways.

By taking a negative and creating a positive, that is the very definition of resilience — and if you’ve done this, be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Photo by Courtney Smith

Or, Change Can Be a Bust

But for some of us, we simply haven’t been able to turn this into our “big moment.” And we might even feel a little guilty about that.

If you haven’t turned this crisis into your moment, that is completely okay — we all have our own timelines and internal processes. The unpredictability of massive change makes ALL of us uncomfortable — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We can’t fake our way out of these feelings, and the fear at the center of them. It is completely normal to feel anxiety, fear, adrenaline and dread.

If you fall into this latter camp, I’d like to offer you some helpful ways to recenter yourself and manage this period, and hopefully turn it on its ear and make it work for you.

The Two A’s

There of course, is no magical formula that will rid you of discomfort or anxiety right now, but there is one that can help soothe you. It’s Acceptance and Attitude.

You don’t have to accept all of the change that’s happening, or situations you dislike — but accepting that change is inevitable, that change is hard, and that our lives do turn in unexpected ways, can give you a new perspective and horizon to look for. Reminding yourself that feeling uncomfortable doesn’t mean you’re weak — it means you recognize that you’re in a vulnerable state — and accepting that feeling and acknowledging it, will help you shed excess emotions and guilt.

Once you can accept these things, your attitude changes. You become less fearful. You become less anxious. Because you are accepting that change will come, and acknowledge that you will feel anxious or fearful about it, your attitude can be less focused on reacting to change itself, and more focused on how you’re processing it and calling out what you’re really feeling in the moment. This will offer you a moment of recentering, which is invaluable.

And Two Magical C’s

Once you have leaned into Acceptance and Attitude towards change, you can use two magical tools that will always be your friends in any given situation, Centering and Choice.

Centering is a practice that can be learned, and coaches can help you train on this type of mindfulness, and how to control your perception of an uncontrollable situation. It’s a practice that can become a very healthy habit — and it’s one that is useful in the most turbulent of times, and in turning a bad situation into one that benefits you.

And Choice is what we all end up doing no matter what. Even not choosing is a choice. Choosing frees us up, helps us create new paths to select. Knowing that we always have a choice is what makes change bearable at the very least or simply exhilarating on the other side. Choice is a means to access freedom and to transform change into a powerful tool of self-realization.

If you want to work through how to adapt to change and create choices for you, I can help. I’ve coached leaders and teams through transformations and finding their voice and purpose. Contact me to set up a consultation.

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