When you work in the Social work field you come to learn very quickly that there is only one constant, one thing you can always count on to be true and consistent. That one thing is change. With over twenty years experience I’ve learned to embrace, master and absolutely love change.
I’ve recently gone through a massive change in my life by leaving a nineteen year relationship with a man I essentially grew up with. He’s a wonderful person and I have absolutely no regrets, but we were both in our early twenties when we started our relationship and have grown separately in so many ways. Realizing we were better friends then lovers, it was time to make the split. This change has fuel and challenged me in ways that I could never have imagined when we were together. It was being on my own and responsible for only myself that allowed me to think outside the box I had created for myself and it has been so exhilarating. Yes, things have been hard, especially learning to manage finances on one salary. I’ve made discoveries that I would never have thought to look for, Hello https://www.redapron.ca! I have found strength and creativity in myself that I forgot was there. I have become happier with myself then I have ever been and that in turn has lead to a happier life despite the challenges and financial restrictions that I manage daily.
Here’s how I managed that change;
For me, managing change comes in three stages;
You have to constantly be ready for the inevitable changes that will pop up on a daily basis. This is how I do that;
- Take care of yourself and stay healthy. If you are well rested, nourished and fit you will have less anxiety when a change challenge pops up and you will be ready for action.
- Have an open mind, managing change will naturally become a part of your daily life when you are not clinging to how an outcome will occur. When you let go of the journey and focus on results managing change is a breeze and you will gain so much experience.
- Develop confidence, you’ve got everything you need to get through the toughest situation inside of you.
When people think of change they will always think about the actionable steps and how overwhelming they can be. Don’t fret! You have so much strength and you will overcome! This is what it looks like for me;
- Recognize that change is occurring and acknowledge what that change is. What are your beliefs and perceptions around that change? How you perceive that change will effect your life, will determine how easily you will work through it. By acknowledging where you will struggle you can actively place extra focus on those areas.
- Fixate on the pros but plan for the cons. Become absolutely obsessed with the benefits that the pros will bring to the situation. You want to be the person who others are becoming annoyed with because your positivity is overshadowing their anxiety around the change that is occurring. Plan for the cons, make back ups plans to your plans if it is helpful.
- Research and develop a plan of action. If you are a visual person mind map it, if you do better with checklists then write it down. Once you have a well designed plan, work it but let it go. Most plans will fall apart at some point, but the structure you’ve laid out will allow you to modify it according to how the situation plays out. The key is to have an end result in mind and work toward it.
We use debriefing when we have to handle a challenging situation at work, I find that it can be applies to any challenging situation in my personal life as well. Here’s how I do it;
- Pin point how this change will effect your life moving forward, what areas of your life do you need to place some extra focus on.
- Look at how the process went and what you can do differently next time. If you find something particularly difficult you can research ways to improve in that area.
- Celebrate your successful transition!
This may seem very structured and like a lot of work, and you know what ? it is! Having said that, it is absolutely worth every minute you put into planning. I absolutely believe that a good plan is far more valuable than any amount of work you put into a change challenge. After years of practise I find the process is very fluid for me, I use Bullet Journaling to plan and debrief, it feels more organic and less structured so that my mind can remain fluid to the change occurring. In researching planning methods, a little obsession of mine, I came across a little concept called mind mapping. It can help you be creative when you are in a particularly restrictive change challenge or it can help you dream big dreams when you are in a change challenge that has blown your life’s box open. For me choosing a style to manage change is entirely intuitive.
People, what I want to say here is that change is terrifying but it is a vehicle for wonderful opportunity if you choose to see it! Embracing and learning to love change will make life so much easier. Start small and reprogram your mind! You’ll get there and become excited for change in no time.
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Have an amazing week!