Change takes place in three ways…
a. Crisis Change Events that are thrust upon us, tragedies like separation, loosing, illness, divorce, or children parting for good, retirement, unemployment, a sudden job change, promotion etc. Our paradigm of the way things have always been suddenly blown apart and we view the world through a new colored filter.
b. Evolutionary Change If we wait long enough, change will occur on its own, yet most of us think that if we wait long enough, things will spring back to their original position. We notice everyone else is changing and think it would be a great idea to follow them. The change may or may not benefit us, but what prevails is the’ better late than never’ attitude.
c. Visionary Change Is the most empowering cause it’s proactive. It’s learning, anticipating, creating. One begins with questions
What do I want to create?
What do I want my ideal future to look like?
No matter how much change takes place, the power of vision provides us with a center to which we can always return for personal , professional renewal.
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it, you may be smart enough to see it is, what you would have wanted had you known.
Stages of change
The process of change has three distinct stages, and the more you know about the nature of change, the easier it is to move through them.
a. Letting go Resistance is at its peak, denial, despair, anger, blame, sickness, sadness, mourning. It’s in the first stage that something is lost.
b. The dead zone Time for reorientation. Often we feel at our worst, we feel a combination of hope and despair, confusion and adjustment. Begin searching for meaning. Every change looks like a failure in the middle.
c. The leap
Identify, explore, chart a new way — feel a combination of fear and excitement. In order to take the leap, we have to let go, release the old, fully experience the dead zone. Now there can be creativity and comfort.
Personally for me, I experienced these three stages of change when I decided to move from Delhi to Mumbai. The initial decision was agony, sheer boredom. For 10 years, I had been conveniently located between two major airports which meant I could get to either of them in less than 90 minutes — a great boon for my business. After the move, I would have to allow perhaps twice the amount of time. I would be leaving my neighbors, friends and acquaintances. I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast at my favourite diner or workout at my local health club.
I moved, but I would drive more than an hour back you my old club to work out. I refused to become involved in my new community, I even paid rent only old, empty apartment for six months. I refused to let go, I was depressed, irritated, and was always on a short fuse.
Denial and resistance
Finally, gave up my apartment in Delhi but had not yet become grounded at Mumbai. I was confused, rootless, loner. Was experiencing a total reorientation.
Quite suddenly, one day I took the leap and magic happened.
I connected with others in my new community, joined a group of professional poets, founded a poetry club. Made friends with people at a new diner, joined a local health club. Was once again, both creative and excited about my future.
In retrospect, I am surprised at how long the adjustment period took.
Once you understand the mechanism of resistance, and the 3 stages of change, you are ready to initiate positive steps to handle change.
a) You will soon recognise that, even when you feel as though you are being forced into doing something, you still have control.
b) You have the choice to let go and accept, or resist, and you have control over your perception of how the change will affect you by consciously creating and reinforcing your picture of a positive future.
Remember major change occurs, when expectations about significant events, issues or situations are disrupted, when people expect or anticipate one thing is going to take place and something drastically, incredibly different occurs. If you have always done in that way, it’s probably wrong.
Your call now, folks!
The author is an executive coach and mentor, Excalibre