Addressing the subject of change instills fear in many people. The very thought of disruption to the status quo brings up feelings of anxiety and distress in many individuals and organizations. Pending gloom and doom consumes the collective consciousness as people grapple with the new reality. Viewing change positively isn’t usually the norm, although it could represent an exciting opportunity to do things differently.
How do we begin to accept change when it is thrust upon us without warning? What would it be like if we stopped resisting and instead chose to embrace it? Consider the example of my friend Marie, who collapsed at home after suffering a stroke. No one saw it coming. Marie was feeling out of sorts a few days prior, but put it down to a heavy work and travel schedule. Her husband, Doug, found her on the kitchen floor. Marie was rarely sick; everyone who knew her well was surprised to learn about her condition, yet relieved that she pulled through with no residual effects.
Although Marie rebounded quickly from her unexpected illness, she was forever changed. She viewed her recovery as another chance at life and as a result, altered her perspective regarding work and life priorities. She set new boundaries around her career and personal time.
Do you allow change to manage you, or do you choose to manage change? Marie is an example of an individual who chose the latter. When the unexpected occurs, whether in business or in life, we can exercise our options. Our response will be dictated first and foremost by the lens we use to view the situation and ultimately, on our ability to see the bigger picture.
Image Credit: Stuart Miles