“Over My Dead Body!” – Adapting to Change
Change can be bloody hard, especially when the change is imposed on you. It can seem like you are losing all control over what was once all nicely in place, neat and tidy, all the ducks in a row. The ducks have suddenly all been shot.
Your world can feel like it is in turmoil, chaos, no control, wrong.
How long this feeling will last is up to you. Barack Obama once said, “we are the change that we seek” well sometimes we don’t seek it Mr President, it seeks us! The bereavement process can kick in too if the change to your circumstances or work pattern is severe enough. If you have not ever experienced it (good for you I don’t recommend it) or heard of it, then it goes like this. Upon the change being imposed and lets just say it is bereavement or something that leaves you bereaved at a loss or grief, then you go through a process starting with denial and isolation, then you get mad and go through the anger stage, next comes the part where you start to negotiate or bargain with the situation and that just makes you go into the depressed part. Once you have been thoroughly miserable you then start to accept things and move on. Look it up on the magic window it is all there in it’s ugly glory for you.
The fact is that when change comes about you need to try and identify with the stages mentioned above, and using the mindfulness approach actually allow yourself to go through it, pay attention to what is happening to you and at all costs don’t run away from it. If you do then it will wait patiently for you, sometimes never changing, sometimes getting worse, so just get on with it, and make the choice to do so.
I have been through some huge changes recently, some of them have made me realign thoughts into a perspective that after specific attention, gave me a chance to put things into little boxes and pack them away into depths of my mind never to be seen again, similar to that end scene in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Other boxes contain things that are choice and option based, things I can reach into and feel more control over. In another blog I talk about choice in relation to being assertive and lack of choice when you feel aggressive. When change is imposed, your choices may feel limited, leading you to becoming aggressive or even just rolling over and taking it, but when you can have some choice you feel more in control and things start to tidy up before your eyes. Time plays a role and some choices need to be ‘parked’ until such time as events allow you to address them with the due care and attention they need. It is important not to rush otherwise mistakes can be made and your feelings and reactions become more magnified.
It is important to be aware of what makes you feel comfortable, and what doesn’t, Steve Jobs said that “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? Whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row then I know I need to change something.” Be aware that whilst you may be very happy and comfortable doing what you do, someone or something might have other ideas, you may not have any control over that decision, but you do have control on how you handle it. So do not get too comfortable, look to invite change, have your armour in place, protect yourself and be prepared. Make sure you take nothing for granted and pay attention to the change imposed. It is this approach that will undoubtedly help you go through the process quickly and hopefully come out unscathed.