Three Essential Ways to Prepare For Change
If there's one thing I resist with every fiber of my being - it's change. The unknown is entirely too challenging for a Type A control-freak such as myself. If I can't jot it down in my meticulously-kept paper planner, I don't want any part of it.
And yet change is inevitable, much like another rotation around the sun. Whether it is professionally or personally, we can't stop the flow of time.
William E. Gladstone once said, "You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side."
Throughout the years I have sought professional and not-so-professional feedback about my resistance techniques and I've finally discovered a few ways that trick me into thinking I'm in charge of any upcoming changes.
Understand Why Change Is Necessary
There is always a catalyst to change - the sooner you figure out what it is and come to terms with it, the better you will handle the situations that are to come. It's also important to think positively about the unknown - change is a good thing. There is nothing worse than stagnation. As I often remind myself, some sharks will die if they don't keep moving forward. If it helps, write down a few reasons you're grateful for the impending changes and refer back to this list when your pessimism creeps in.
Do Your Research
No one ever likes to jump into something without having first done a little digging - whether it's moving to a new city or accepting a new job. Beyond what the internet can show you, try to find forum discussions for more up-to-date information. Utilize social media to ask for recommendations or honest feedback from those you're connected with. If you're looking for information on a company you're interviewing with, be sure to check out Glassdoor.com for anonymous employee reviews.
Set Realistic Goals For the New Season
Hold yourself accountable to diving head-first into the new season of your life by setting actionable goals with realistic timelines for completion. If you're moving to a new city, commit to meeting five new people within the first month. If it's a new job, set a goal of memorizing all your new coworker's names by the end of the training period. Once you've accomplished your initial goals, rethink what you've learned and set your intentions for the next designated time period.
Since you can't fight time, you can at least work with it to soften the blow of the unknown. By listening to your worries, identifying the positive side of things, researching and setting focus goals, you can change the resistance dynamic that usually takes place. It's not something that will happen overnight but over time you will find that your natural thought-pattern will shift and you will be a more flexible and stronger individual for it.
Samantha Rosenfeld is a freelance writer with bylines across a variety of publications including Create+Cultivate, Ladders.com, and Buzzfeed. The New Jersey native currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her fiance and two dogs. Follow her on Twitter @formativestory