Body & Mind

5 Tips on Dealing with Unexpected Change

Change is an inevitable component of our lives. People change: When did she become so egoistic? Relationships change: He was different in the beginning of our marriage. Organizations change: The new company structure makes me uncomfortable. Approaches change: How are we going to deal with digital transformation?

Whether is a private or professional life no matter how comfortable we get, nothing is guaranteed. Change is an act or a process through which something becomes different. And different means new, not familiar, unknown. This uncertainty can scare or even paralyse us. But as the authors of the book “Immunity to Change” convince, it’s not the change itself that scares many people, it is rather a change that leaves us feeling defenseless before the danger we know that causes that anxiety. So changes are not equal and not all of them make us uncomfortable. For example: if I would tell you that tomorrow you would win a lottery, get a promotion and find the love of your life you would agree that it would mean a change for you, but the fear or anxiety won’t be your response. But if your company would announce restructuring, you might start being scared of what will happen with your role.

So if it happens that you will find yourself undergoing a change that will scare you, think about these 5 steps you can take in order to deal with it:

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  1. Acknowledge it

    Going through different scenarios in your head of what might have happened if the change would had not taken place, are pointless. Change is a fact. If it happens the best thing to do first is to acknowledge it. If it is something we do not have any influence on, stop worrying about it. These are your feelings and you can take control over them. Instead invest your precious time and energy in a productive handling.

    Let’s take an example: Amy works in a big corporation for a specific client for two years. Her boss announces that the customer terminates the agreement as he does no longer have budget for this service. Amy’s department becomes redundant. She has two options: 1) worry and think about the past and that her team should have been more provident, when the client was there for a visit they should have told him this and that… 2) or she can accept it and think soberly about the possibilities.

    Even though we are never free from change, we are always free to decide how we respond to it. 

  2. Be open to new ideas

    Where is a change, there are new possibilities. Look for them. Be receptive for new ideas. A change can shift the perspective and open new doors. Don’t be afraid to enter them.

  3. Concentrate on Positives

    Try to focus on the ups of a situation you found yourself in. For example if you have been fired, it can motivate you to work on yourself, develop new skills. Or if some unbearable changes in the management in your team have been made, it will push you towards applying for a new job – something that you actually wanted for a long time, but never done.

  4. Do it!

    We tend to feel more comfortable if we know what will happen. Undergoing a change might be a difficult process, so to make it easier for yourself prepare a plan. Consider the following questions:

  • What is your goal? How do you want to achieve it and when?
  • Set up the time frame and milestones.
  • Which steps you need to take to achieve the milestones?
  • Schedule the first step and start working on it as soon as possible.

5. Empower yourself

Be kind and understanding to yourself. Repeat that everything will be fine and you will manage through the change. Tell yourself that you are strong and not afraid. You can also listen to some positive affirmations that will help you keep stay positive. I personally like the ones of Louise Hay. You can start with 50 Mins of Positive Affirmations to Change Your Attitude.

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