Navigating Change

How do you handle change? Do you embrace it? Resist it? Raise the sails and go with it? Maybe your personality has a 6 word policy for change: “Don’t let it happen to you.”

The concept of embracing change has never worked for me because I get this silly image in my head of racing after an intangible moving target.  I know the term refers to successfully navigating change. Now that conjures up an image of getting a compass and charting a course through new waters. I’m on board with that.

It’s far better to plan for change than resist it.  The resistance can become downright dangerous and even fatal. This is true in life and business.  Boaters know that the safest way to navigate safely through a storm is to raise the anchor and run with the wind. I recall with sorrow the story of three young men that died off the coast of Florida several years ago when they were unable to free their anchor, capsized and died in the rough waters.

How many businesses have gone under by failing to negotiate storms with fast action and good decisions?

Navigating change is an essential life-skill.  But many have a love/hate relationship with change.  Most people are creatures of habit. We can nod our heads and give mental assent to the statement, “everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”  But when it becomes personal, and it’s our own comfort zone that gets rocked, our emotions get involved. Fear of the unknown is stirred up and that can provoke worry and anxiety.

Psychology 101 held the lesson that our emotions aren’t logical. They are based on perception rather than fact.  One of the ways to move through change with grace and ease is to acknowledge your emotions and consciously adjust your perception of what lies ahead. Fears tend to grow like mold in the dark but are purified and burned up when subjected to strong light.

Navigating change is about watching the prevailing wind and becoming proactive in responding to the shift instead of simply reacting. It seems some days, your craft is a dinghy. Varying circumstances can make you feel like you’re on everything from a battleship to a tug boat to a fishing  trawler to a cruise ship. (I prefer the cruise ship myself.)

The size of the craft is not the winning factor; it’s the actions of the captain that determine the outcome.
You’re the captain, mate.  There’s no doubt the winds will blow.  Cut the anchor rope & raise your sail of expectation today. There’s a new shore awaiting discovery.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.- Mark Twain

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Explore posts in the same categories: Attitude, Business Strategies, Coaching, Leadership

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