Change: The Only Thing That Is Constant

changeChange happens.

It’s sometimes very scary to have things change. We are creatures of habit and routine, and when things are disrupted, the uncertainty can be almost paralyzing.

But it can be completely freeing, too.

When you throw off the conventional chains of daily living, things get shaken up.  The old rules don’t apply.

We often get so stymied by following a pattern of rote behaviors that come about a pattern of routine that we fail to push past the humdrum of daily activities to see the possibility waiting outside.

When things shift, the realm of possibility gets blown wide open.

Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, wrote in a June 1997 essay to “do one thing every day that scares you.”

That’s where embracing it can help you grow as a person.

Whether you are facing change in job duties, change in leadership, change in salary, change in employment, change in what you want to do for a living, change in taking on a stretch assignment, change in responsibility, or change in learning new things that are important to your work, it is clear to see that change is a powerful learning experience.

Looking beyond the scary part (things aren’t what they used to be!) and seeing the valuable learning and personal growth opportunities will help you be well-equipped to handle the how things are shifting.

Someone once told me, “When you fear change the most, that’s exactly when you need it the most.”

Truer words were never spoken.

The psychology of this statement is this: When you are fearfully clinging to what you know best, it means you aren’t growing or don’t want to grow. When you get to that point where it is almost paralyzing, you are really at the end of a road that is no longer sustainable, and you are going to be forced to adapt.

So what better way to navigate than by stepping up, looking it in the eye, and embracing it?

If you face down your fears, you’ll see that you have allowed them to gain bigger stature in your mind than what they really are.

The best strategy to handle big shifts and minimize those fears?

Get acquainted with change. Do research, find out how it impacts things, and how you might benefit from it, rather than what you might lose from it.

If you maintain a positive approach, you’ll be able to learn valuable new skills, new ideas, new expertise, new opportunities, and find out a whole new dimension to yourself.

And remember, new things happening doesn’t just happen once. It is constant.

I’ll close with an example I experienced lately. In my hometown of Portland, Oregon, I have been involved with the hospitality / meetings industry for 20+ years now.

The other day, I attended an industry meeting at a local hotel which has been a bedrock of luncheon meetings for my entire hospitality career.

Walking in this time, I saw that they had completely remodeled the interior (again). I think this is the third or fourth time. It was completely unrecognizable yet I knew the layout.

As I marveled at this most recent facelift, I was reminded of what it used to look like when I first got going in my career, which seems forever ago.

But the biggest lesson here?  You can’t stop forward progress.

The only thing you can do is adapt your attitude about it and embrace it to be successful.