I was at a meeting the other day and someone stormed in and said, “I just really HATE change. I just don’t know what to do with it so I spend my time hating it. I know its stupid but it is what it is. Why do things have to change?”
It was unclear what the underlying issue was but I thought it was a very interesting question because change just happens, regardless of our opinion or our efforts to stop it. We change personally; we age, have experiences, and learn new things. The world changes, too. What was socially acceptable yesterday, isn’t today. How you perceive change and cope with it is really important. It can have a huge impact on your longterm success.
When faced with change, there are generally two responses, in my experience. The most common response is to fight it by complaining, refusing, and digging in your heels! Some even post rants on social media about how good life used to be (last year, or 20 years ago, or two generations before you were even born). In general, these types of people are fearful and this is how they try to cope. Fear is a powerful emotion and keeps you rigid, inflexible and unable to move with the times.
The second response involves thinking of change as an opportunity and embracing it. Trying to see change as an opportunity or an adventure. This allows you to be agile and flexible; willing to see where this change might be headed. Seeing change as an opportunity allows you to seek out new jobs, travel to new destinations, and (in my opinion) have a higher quality of life. Period.
If you are not sure which type of response you might have, a good litmus test is to look at your texts and emails to friends and colleagues along with your social media postings. Do you post about the past or the future? Do you focus on how terrible or how great things are now? If you find yourself always looking back to “better” times or wishing for “the way it was”, look in the mirror. Does having this focus on the past and rigid mindset help you move forward? Absolutely NOT, but it does help you become aware that you are letting change derail you from any opportunities in the future. So what to do? Just start saying Yes. To anything! Invited to a night on the town? Yes. Is there a new job opening at work? Yes. Start saying yes to life and see where it takes you!