By: Adriana Puente
Whether you’re removing gluten or dairy from your diet, slowly transitioning levels of management, or looking to build leadership bench strength and delegate responsibilities to others, change is hard. As humans, we grow accustomed to routines and patterns that generate comfort, which are called the “known.” What makes change scary is the move to the “unknown.”
We often find ourselves complacent in the known, thus foregoing change. However, without change, we do not grow or progress. Here are four high-level steps you can use to embrace the change in your personal life and business.
Accept the evolution.
Whether it’s a lifestyle change or a big disruption in your business or industry, change is necessary. It’s going to happen. You have to let go of how things have always been and embrace the new normal. Doing so will help you develop an action plan and goals to help you capitalize on new opportunities that present themselves.
[Related: Your Playbook for Surviving Change at Work]
Expect a readjustment period.
As creatures of habit, any change we make in our lives — personal or business — will not happen overnight. During a time of change, you may be angry, upset, and fearful about the unknown you’re facing. Acknowledge those emotions and know they are normal in your journey toward growth.
A change in life or business means something else may no longer fit. It is completely normal and necessary to mourn what needs to be left behind. Allow yourself the space to dwell, but don’t get stuck in the rear-view mirror. Create achievable action steps to guide you where you want to go.
Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, change can appear to be painful and bring on emotional and physical exhaustion. To combat anxiety or depression that can arise during this time, it is important to practice healthy wellness habits. Exercise, eating healthy, and getting adequate sleep will help clear your head and give you the fuel to overcome “out-of-comfort-zone” events and grow toward your full potential. It might be helpful to start a journal of your fears and emotions, or seek out someone to talk to about what you are going through.
Reframe the “opportunity.”
Reframe your mindset toward change. View it as an opportunity to better your life or business. Think to yourself, “This is an opportunity to get to ________.”
Show gratitude for what you do have instead of focusing on what you no longer have. This will help you see the change in a different light. It is said that happiness is sometimes not getting what you want, but what you need.
What do you need to do now to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and reframe change as something you get to do, rather than something you have to do?
See the big picture.
It’s important to remember why you are making this change. Whether it is personal or within your organization, the objective is to make things better. Can you define what “better” means to you? Is it controlling a medical condition, transitioning into a new role in your career, or being more competitive in your industry by automating a sector of your business? What will the long-term effects of your actions be? Taking time to create a vision is important for moving forward.
Most us do not like change. But, if we’re not constantly growing and learning, what are we doing? The same holds true for your business and organization. As we have all witnessed over the past ten years, it’s the leaders and organizations that continue to innovate, morph to market needs, and make necessary changes that succeed, prosper, and grow.
Adriana Puente is an Associate of The Rawls Group, a business succession planning firm. Adriana specializes in dealing with issues that must be resolved by business owners to implement succession strategies geared toward building business value. For additional information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or call 407–578–4455.
Originally published at www.ellevatenetwork.com.