Let’s face it.
Change is hard!! And there’s just something in our nature that resists it, even if we know it’ll result in a good thing.
Why the resistance? Well, it’s unknown. We would rather stick with what we know rather than voyage out into territory that’s unknown, even if it promises blue skies and roses.
Our brains form patterns of familiarity and quite frankly, we get comfortable in those spaces and your brain wants to stay in those patterns.
Think of a cow rut and how easy it is for the cows to stay on that path, but how dangerous it may be if they get off the path. They may fall off a cliff, break a leg in a mole hole, or scrape up their legs on sagebrush out in the open, so it’s simply easier and ‘safer’ to stay on the path.
The reality is, there could also be a watering hole or greener pastures hiding around a bend they didn’t know about because they were stuck in one way of travel and didn’t explore or take risks. So there’s a possibility that they could find something better, but the natural default response of the brain is to stay in your safe and known patterns, therefore resisting change, and unfortunately also resisting growth.
Whether it is a small change or a large one, adapting to the new swing of things is a requirement in order to get to where we want to go, especially as leaders.
So let’s dig in a bit and explore our top three tips for embracing change!
First, acknowledge that things are changing!
The one thing Covid has taught us that can’t be denied is that change is inevitable. And it happens quickly! So we either learn how to embrace it, or we get left in the dust. Regardless, we have a choice in how we respond.
When we simply accept the fact that things are changing, and they are changing quickly, then we are more able to cope with the changes that are coming. It gives the green light to your brain that you’re not in fear of the change, but instead it’s setting you up for a solution instead of resistance to the change.
Living in denial about your new situation will only make things worse. You’ll stuff the reality of your life and it’ll crop up at the worst times and most embarrassing ways. In order to cope with change in a healthy way it is essential that you simply acknowledge what is going on and accept what you can’t change.
On that note, secondly, identify what you can and cannot control.
When you think about what you can and cannot control in the new situation that you are in, you will instantly feel relief getting some of the ‘knowns’ well…known! If you know what you are capable of changing, then work on it and then let go of what you can’t change. If you can’t change it, there’s no use wasting negative energy on your frustration with that fact, instead focus that energy on the solution!! Additionally, you will be able to identify what you can take responsibility for — and then take the right action.
Lastly, reframe the way you think of change. Choose to think of it as an opportunity instead of a problem. When you are able to control your emotional response to change, you now are making yourself available to your creativity and problem solving rather than slipping into fight, flight or freeze, all of which aren’t helpful for embracing change and making the necessary adjustments that will set you up for success.
Notice we used the word ‘choose’ there. It’s a choice. Oftentimes we think that our emotions control us, but the reality is that we can control our emotions. They just require the right tools, skills and awareness, all of which we teach here at Modig Leadership!
With that, go out and get playful with change, eagerly looking forward to how you can creatively come up with solutions for yourself and your organization.
Until next time!
Brenda Lee is a Leadership Development and Team Building expert to some of the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and professionals who have all the trappings of success but have hit a barrier they are ready to breakthrough.