Welcome to another Fresh Start Monday, where we change the narrative… Today we will be concluding the change series, we looked at the necessity of change and the variables thereof. We came to appreciate that the more accepting we are of the paradox of everything changing the easier life becomes. We also explored some variables that influence change. Today, we will be focusing on navigating change, the aim is to use what we know to prepare for, and respond to change rather than just reacting.
There’s more than one way to deal with change, we can react to change and we can respond to change. In reacting to change, we simply go according to our plans (if we have one), without much thought for the possibility of change. In responding to change, we are aware that change will happen and we expect it. However, there are several extents to which we can treat with this expectation. We can take a somewhat naïve approach; we expect it, but at the same time we pray it doesn’t affect us. We can also accept that change will happen but we are still executing our plans without regard to the changes, even if the change is affecting us. Or we can integrate ourselves in the change process, by positioning ourselves such that we use the change to our advantage. I hope, we will all choose the later.
To navigate change means that we will not only accept change, but we will anticipate it which will cause us to have some level of preparation. It is not that we will know all the possible outcomes but we have an open mindset. Knowing that things may not work the way we want or intend to, but in ways we probably never thought of. So, we are expecting the unexpected at any given moment.
This understanding and expectance that things may change, reduces fear and anxiety greatly. Thus, freeing emotional space and increases productivity. How does this affect productivity, you ask? Firstly, fear eats away at our emotions and our energy. Think back to being afraid, how did you feel? I’m sure it was fight or flight going through your minds. Imagine now, not experiencing that or experiencing a reduction in fear because you were expecting things to change, though you may not be aware of the specific change. Secondly, you are able to re-channel that energy and use it productively. For example, I leave work with assignments due and deadlines fast approaching. My intention is to get home quickly and get the ball rolling, however, I encounter a long traffic, what would be the best way to use that situation to my advantage? Instead of complaining and getting upset, I could start working on those assignments. Even if, I can’t write or type at that moment, I could start brainstorming ideas and coming up with a plan to get the assignments done.
It is quite fitting that we are looking more closely at change as we transition into another year. It is safe to say, 2020 was a year like no other, we experienced changes in every sphere of life. Things that we never thought possible, happened! We were wearing masks daily, children were at school, at home; some adults were at work, at home; thanks to technology. So many things changed after one change element, and that single change I speak of is “Covid-19”. Some of us barely survived, while others of us thrived. Our ability to navigate change, was the determining factor of us surviving or thriving.
As we begin “2021… on purpose!”, may we aim to navigate the changes that are inevitable, such that we find a position of advantage and make the best of everything that comes our way. May we navigate change optimally and change the narrative…