Women In Business

Businesswomen: Don’t fear change. Don’t ‘manage’ change. Embrace change

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Embracing change is good in all aspects of our life. Humans inherently dislike change, but there will be many times you’ll have to accept it.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”   

Socrates

We all know that change is hard. It is hard because we like our comfort zone, and we tend to do the same thing over and over, because we have already gotten used to our routine. It can be challenging, but it also leads to positive effects. Often the hardest part of change is accepting it and getting started with it.

Here are a few reasons why change is not just good for us, but may be amazing for us:

  • We are pushed past our comfort zone. Life is easier when we’re in the safety of our comfort zone.  We already have a routine, we know what’s about to happen and we’re prepared for the consequences. When we’re outside our comfort zone, our opinions, beliefs, and assumptions are being tested. We are forced to find new ways to express who we are and what we believe in and our routine is sure to vary.
  • We get to experience more. Change is good because it opens up a whole new door of opportunities for us – opportunities that lead to new experiences. These experiences make up who we are today and for those in business can lead to some really amazing things.
  • It leads us down a path of success, discovery or improvement. Change for change sake isn’t worthwhile, but most often when we change things, we are changing them for the better, in order to improve, advance, grow or expand. Sometimes we are implanting change in order to avoid disaster, ruin, failure or disappointment. If the reason is right, then so will be the action.
  • We find out who we really are. When you experience change, you find out new things about yourself. You find out what you want or don’t want; what you can and cannot handle.  You learn about your limitations, as well as your capabilities and competencies – and as you deal with these changes, you grow yourself, expand and find it easier to handle in the future.
  • We get to be more flexible. Change makes us more adaptable. When we look back to the time when we changed something in our life, we can say, “I did it before, I can do it again now. I am not scared.” We begin to succeed in new situations because we have already proven that we can.
  • We get to have more fun. Being open to change opens up to us saying “yes” more often because we are already open to more experiences, plus we get to meet new people, try new things.

Change can be done by everyone, but not all people are ready to accept it. We don’t have to wait for others to change – let’s start with ourselves.

Here are some tips on how to shift our mindset and embrace change:

  • Our mindset is like a muscle that can be improved or strengthened. One way to do that is by learning the exercise of meditation. Change is uncomfortable but when something is being put in front of you, be willing to be open to considering it and be open to learning more about it.
  • Asking questions is a great strategy. By knowing as much as we can, we begin to feel more comfortable with the idea. Often the biggest fear around change is the unknown, so if you reduce that aspect, the change becomes easier.
  • Be positive!  Making the effort to recognise the positive effects of change retrains our brains to see that we have an opportunity for growth. Instead of assuming something will be bad, take the positive viewpoint and be willing to believe it can be a positive thing.
  • Prepare ourselves mentally and physically for what’s to come our way. Mental preparation includes courage, optimism, curiosity, creativity and gratitude. These will provide us flexibility and strength, keep us motivated, force us to ask questions, help us solve unexpected problems, and most of all, appreciate what we currently have.
  • Be realistic. Often at a moment in our lives, we make things out to be a bigger deal than they are (mountain out of a mole hill), however if you ask yourself “In six months’ time, how important will this be?” and the answer is ‘not very’ then don’t make a biggie out of it.
  • To make the change work best, determine what surrounding things need to be adjusted. It may be a routine, schedule, process or something else – work on making the change happen, rather than expending all your energy fighting it or complaining about it, or worse, sabotaging it.
  • Let’s accept that change will happen with or without us. Life is short, time is precious, so let’s be humble.  Change is inevitable, and is a necessary part of evolution.  No matter what, change will happen even without us, so might as well hop in, and go with the flow.

To keep ourselves motivated on our journey towards change, let’s consider setting clear deadlines for the changes that we want to bring into our lives.  It is even good to have an accountability partner, so that we don’t feel alone during this process. Change will also be a bit easier when we introduce a rewards system when we reach specific goals. Things may not always go according to our plans, but with effort and positive attitude, and a willingness to change, we can successfully transform our lives and businesses for the better.

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About Donna Stone

Donna Stone is a business coach with three decades of experience. She grew her own business from a garage to be a multi award winning operation that spanned five locations nationally. She shares this knowledge and expertise with clients to guide them in their own success. Donna is the author of the Stepping Stone series of books. Visit www.donna-stone.com.au

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