Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
These words are on the front page of my website.
They are at the heart of everything I do.
Life is change.
Imagine a life without change. It is impossible.
And yet, we so often resist change when we are faced with it.
We so often delay the change we know we need to make.
I know that feeling. I stayed unhappy, stressed out and overwhelmed in a job for way too long because I was afraid to make a change.
What if I can’t do something new? What if I fail? What if the risk doesn’t pay off?
The what ifs stop us.
But what about: what if I can do it? What if I succeed? What if the risk does pay off?
What if I fall?
What if I fly?
What if I absolutely soar?
Ultimately when it comes to change, you get to choose.
You get to choose how you respond.
You get to choose whether you take that experience and grow from it.
You get to choose if you fight it or if you embrace it.
You get to choose if you hide or if you thrive.
What you don’t get to choose is whether change will happen.
It is inevitable.
So, when the inevitable happens how do you choose growth?
- Recognise that this is change and it will feel hard. We are hard-wired for security and safety, so change, which brings uncertainty, is going to feel scary. Acknowledge it. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. Even when it is a change we consciously and joyfully choose – moving house, having a baby, starting a new job or business – it usually triggers the same feelings. It’s ok. It’s normal. Breathe…
- Look after your needs and replenish your energy. Change takes energy. If you are depleted, your stress levels will rise and you will hit overwhelm. This is the time to double down on looking after yourself. No shortcuts.
- Stay tuned in to the big picture. What’s most important to you? What do you ultimately want. Allow that to drive you forward and inform any decisions you need to make.
- Get support. Whether it’s with a coach, a mentor, a good friend or a colleague, make sure you have support around you. Ask for help (and accept it when it is offered). You do not have to do this on your own.
- Stay curious. What could this lead to? What is the best possible outcome from this? Allow your ‘what ifs’ to follow the most positive course. What else is possible? Allow curiosity to replace the fear. It opens up untold possibilities.
Caroline Doran is a change specialist working with individuals, teams and organisations at times of change and transition. She is a qualified coach working with purpose-led individuals who want to make their impact and thrive.
September 21, 2022