“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress” Charles Kettering
Change it is inevitable, it is part of everyone’s life, it’s often said that change is the only constant in life. Some changes are good like a new home or graduating from high school. Some are bad, like losing a loved one, a job or a pet. The problems associated with change are mostly not because of the change itself, but because of our reaction to the situation which is internal and different in each person.
We can’t really manage the change, but we can manage our personal transition.
Our instinct is to just jump into the new situation. NO – In order for something new to begin, something else must end. Managing our internal response involves a three phase process:
Stage 1 – The Ending, Losing and Letting Go
The old situation does not work/exist anymore. We must step out of what we have known before and confront the feelings of loss anxiety and confusion.
Even when we welcome the change, endings can be difficult because there are LOSSES associated with them.
- Identify what has ended and list your losses
- Acknowledge the emotions you are going through
- Allow yourself to feel sad and cry if needed
- Say goodbye and then put full-stop behind the old. Commit to lead the past behind you
STAGE 2 – The Neutral Zone
An in-between time, when you find yourself adrift. The old is gone but the new hasn’t become fully functional yet. The old ways don’t work anymore, yet the new ways don’t feel right, either.
- Expect to feel anxious, resentful and confused
- Stop looking back to the old. Remind yourself this is a time of reorienting and get guidelines for road ahead
- Shed that old identity and redefine yourself
- Get a fresh vision of your future
STAGE 3 – The New Beginning
When new beginnings finally come, it is a relief, but it can also be scary
- Envision the desired goal and begin to identify yourself with the result
- Step up, take the risk and make a commitment to whatever it is that you are setting out to do
- Embrace the new and live your life to the fullest
Courtesy to the work of the Change expert William Bridges