There has been a lot of talk, fear, and speculation about the changes that our country, and the world, will experience as a result of the Presidential election. A large number of people are feeling spent as they fight the changes, or fight the people fighting the changes. Now, I could quote numerous cliches about change and how it’s inevitable, necessary, and how you should “be the change…” but, you’ve already read and know all that. So, let’s look at change from a different perspective. What if there was no change? Ever.
What if everyday just repeated itself like in the movie Groundhog Day? Would that make life better?
Imagine what your life would be like if, starting today, nothing ever changed:
• You do the exact same thing every day
• You eat the exact same meals every day
• The weather never changes
• You spend time doing the same things with the same people day after day
• You never make more money than what you currently have
• You never go on vacation
• You never get a new car or a new home
• No new cures for diseases are found
• No new art or music is created
• Every business that is here now is all that will ever be, whether they are good or bad
• Every crime committed today happens every day
• No new babies are born tomorrow – ladies, imagine being pregnant every day from now on!
• There are no new ideas generated, no new teams of people banding together to make the world a better place, no new opportunities created ever again
What a crazy world THAT would be, wouldn’t it? And boring!
Change is scary for many people because it is an unknown path and it challenges our comfort zone. But, without change we cannot move forward. Very few people are truly happy right where they are right now, so it is important that we learn how to embrace change so we can turn it into a positive force. So, how can you do that? How can you look at a big, hairy, scary change and turn it into something palatable?
• Accept what you can, not what you can’t. You don’t have to accept and like the Whole change, but pick a small piece of it and identify how it can be beneficial to you. For instance, maybe you don’t like the new direction your company is going in relation to hiring practices. That’s ok, Rather than being resistant to all of it, maybe you can finally incorporate some EQ-related questions on the application or during the interview process. Focus on which questions will bring about the most helpful information so you and your company can make better hiring decisions.
• Take it one step at a time. Big changes can be hard to swallow, so rather than overwhelming yourself looking at the BIG picture, give things a chance by taking it one day at a time, one step at a time. Perhaps the new regulations are going to cut into your profits based on the way you are currently doing business. OK, what is one step you can make that will offset that cut and make your company more efficient?
• Don’t assume anything. Are you a fortune teller? Do you really know what the future will bring? Probably not, but if you do, I would love some lotto numbers. Don’t let your fears put ideas in your head. When you start assuming you know what is going to happen you waste valuable time that would be better spent being productive on what is happening right now.
• Identify your fears. If the thought of change is causing you sleepless nights, heart palpitations, and anger or sadness, take some time to figure out what you are scared of. Think about it and figure out why you are worried. Write it all down, and take a good, hard look at your reasons for being concerned. Now, highlight the ones that you have control over, and create a list of how you can positively affect those. What about the ones you don’t have control over? There may be absolutely nothing you can do about those, so do yourself a favor and just focus on the others. Why waste your energy on things you truly can’t control?
• Look at the alternative. Yes, change can be scary, but it is inevitable if you want your life, your company, and the world to progress. Think about Groundhog Day – do you want to live in that world?
Change is not always comfortable. Sometimes, it is downright scary. But, look at all the changes our society has been through and you will find that the most difficult times led to positive change. It may take a while, and it may be a bumpy ride, but overall, change generally brings positive results. So, spare a little change for the future and keep your focus positive. Doing so will make life better for yourself and those around you, even when the changes are challenging.