Though we all go through periods of change, some embrace it and deal with it quite effectively, while others suffer from “transition anxiety” and find themselves completely derailed by the shifts and surprises that life dishes out, which leaves them feeling uncertain about how to approach a new situation, and the future as a whole.
The following are some ideas for coping with change and channeling it into a pleasurable, life-enhancing phenomenon.
Accept Uncertainty. Many people fear the uncertain because they associate it with a negative, maybe even life-threatening, situation. In many cases, uncertainty is a sign of better things to come. Prepare for both desirable and undesirable scenarios so you’ll have an idea of what to expect when the unexpected arrives.
Look Forward to the Future. We can’t change the past, so we have to accept it, learn from what has happened, and move forward. Looking ahead to the future means setting goals – and setting goals means working toward your dreams. As long as you’re moving in the direction of your dreams, how can the future be anything to dread?
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings. Once you recognize that change can occur at any time, look for subtle clues that change could be on the horizon in your own specific situation. For example, has management been handing out an increasing number of pink slips? If so, it might be a good time to take a class that would increase your value in the eyes of your employer.
Communication is Key. Don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen. When you’re standing on the threshold of imminent change, communicate with others to learn the nature of the change and what you can do to better adapt to it.
Change Requires Flexibility. In the face of change, think about what skills and lessons from your old role or situation you can apply to the new circumstances. In the event that your new situation calls for a different skill set or new lessons, be open to learning those things.