“[A] movement, passage, or change from one
position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.”
What thoughts flood your mind when you think about change?
We don’t like change. Many will never embrace change. Experts say the number one fear we face is, “If I am not in control something bad will happen.” I am one of the weird ones who thinks it’s fun, exciting, and adventurous. At least I think that way when I’m in control of the change. But when a change was thrown at me that I didn’t plan for -losing a job – it took a “minute” to embrace that change and turn it to transformation.
Change is a reality we all face.
We often equate change and transition as the same or similar experience. However, there is a significant difference between them. Author of Managing Transitions, William Bridges, explains the difference in this brief video. In the 25th Anniversary Edition of his book he highlights three simple yet significant phases to transitioning with change both personally and organizationally:
- Let go of the old ways and the old identity we had. This first phase of transition is an ending and the time when we need to help people (and yourself) deal with the losses.
- There will be an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully operational. This time is called the “neutral zone”: it’s when the critical psychological realignments and repatternings take place.
- Come out of the transition and make a new beginning. This is when people develop a new identity, experience the new energy, and discover the new sense of purpose that makes the change begin to work.
Choosing to embrace the transition rather than fear the change happening is the difference between growth and stagnation. Here’s what I’ve embraced during my 10-plus month transition:
- I may not be able to control my circumstances, but I can control how I choose to respond to them.
Decisions made by others were out of my control and affected my life profoundly. Choosing to see the opportunities and embrace the change made the difference in how I allowed it to affect me.
- Reaching out for help and support is critical.
Asking for help has brought new friends to my life and strengthened old friendships.
- Be vulnerable.
I have a few close friends I am 100% open with. It has been critical to have their support and honest advice during this long transition season.
Equally important is that I hear what they have to say. Because I trust them I know I will be given the advice I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Listening to truth is critical.
Change is good. Change is opportunity. Our view of it makes the difference in whether we emerge on the other side wiser, stronger, and prepared or confused, frustrated, and ready to give up.
Are you more focused on the fear of the uncertainty ahead or the truth that you will emerge on the other side stronger, wiser, and more courageous than you are today?
Keeping it real,
Bridges, William (2017-01-09T22:58:59). Managing Transitions, 25th anniversary edition: Making the Most of Change (Kindle Locations 302-311). Da Capo Press. Kindle Edition.