Managing Change from the Inside by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Life happens. Many times, we are confronted with big changes that create a huge impact. Sometimes, these are planned and exciting, like getting married or getting that great new job we wanted. Other times, change comes in the form of devastation like death, divorce or job loss. Both kinds of changes are stressful and require management on our part in order to not only cope, but hopefully thrive. Here are some tips to help you manage life changes, good and bad.
- Prepare, if possible. When you know change is coming, you have time to prepare. This preparation can make it easier to deal with the stress the change is bound to bring. You can, for example, get some other things out of the way before you start a new job, so that you don’t have to deal with the situation while adjusting to new employment. If you are in the midst of a small remodeling project, get it finished before the first day of work. Clearing your mind of distractions helps you prepare to handle the change.
- Tackle the problem head on. There’s a saying that problems that are procrastinated are only amplified. When you’re faced with unpleasant changes, there is a temptation to retreat. However, failing to face the challenge immediately and directly will just delay the inevitable, and may potentially make it worse, as well.
- Explain to your family. When going through change, you may show signs of stress your family doesn’t understand. You may have to work extra hours to accommodate a work change. You may be scared, or you may be grieving after a death. Letting those who love you know what you’re going through offers two positive effects. The first is that you avoid having your family feel neglected or worry about you. The second is that you will hopefully get the support you need to get through the change.
Change is inevitable, and sometimes brings amazing results to our lives. Even when change is unwanted, or brings about sadness, it can provide us with a chance to grow and become a better person, a more productive employee or a more mature leader. Only when you manage getting through the change can you see the benefits on the other side.