Many of us look forward to change at work and you may often talk about how things could be different. Change can bring positive outcomes, however sometimes when change occurs outside of our control this can bring a feeling of anxiety and stress.
Change is necessary in the workplace in order for businesses to survive and grow. Some people thrive through change whilst others may find it really difficult, so we must learn how to embrace change.
We are creatures of habit and we naturally like certainty so when change happens to us it can often activate a threat in our brains, which triggers effects on our body and emotions such as stress.
Change does not have to be all about fear and anxiety; the more you experience change along the way, the more you may know what to expect and over time you can alter your response to change to ensure you are more satisfied. How businesses handle the process of change and how we perceive we have influence and control over the change is key in managing how we react.
Here are some simple steps to help you navigate any changes ahead.
- Acknowledge it. The most important thing to do when change happens is to take a step back and see the bigger picture and acknowledge it is actually happening. This will be your first step in managing change.
- Take your time. Be patient with the change as often things don’t happen overnight, so stop and think about how you may react or rush your decisions. Take up opportunities to be part of the change and get involved in working groups or committees where you can hear other people’s views before making any decisions and maybe become an influencer.
- Be optimistic. When you’re going through change, it is likely there will be ups and downs. To balance this, a sense of optimism can help which will keep you focused. Some of your fear can come from the negative thoughts in your head, so try and stop these thoughts in their tracks and turn them into something positive. Try asking yourself “when I handled change before, what did I do really well, what action did I take that worked for me and what strengths do I have that might help me?”
- Be curious. Face your fears, have an open mind and be curious about all the possibilities that the change may bring. Writing down your fears can prevent you dwelling on them. To keep yourself motivated, remember to be flexible, consider the possible outcomes and write down what it looks like when that fear has passed. Knowing you have a plan will ease the anxiety.
- Stay focused. Always keep an eye on who you are and what you need in times of change. Whilst a lot of who we are and what we need is taken from our parents or the way in which we bought up, take the time to assess and evaluate your values and beliefs about change. Maybe question those things you have heard growing up and consider if they still stand for you now.
If you’d like to explore this further and seek some support in ways to manage this effectively, please book a FREE consultation with me where we can chat more.