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Coaching Corner: Dealing with Change

Coping or dealing with change is serious business and we are facing it every single day.

Let’s face it—most of us don’t ENJOY change.  Our health care is changing, our job description changes, we hear about a loved one getting sick—a change that wakes us up, we are interrupted by something or someone and now the rest of the day has CHANGED…change, change, change.  Coping or dealing with change is serious business and we are facing it every single day.  I recently came across a business model from Harvard Business School and I found it very valuable…

As you can see, this is all interconnected.  When dealing with change, our first internal reactions is derived from the Denial quadrant.  For example, you started a new job 3 months ago and you get used to the system and infrastructure.  You are now told you are moving to a different department with different responsibilities.  You may be thinking “I just got here” or “I am happy here, don’t you see that?”  This soon moves over into the Frustration quadrant.  All of the questions, concerns, unknowns, “what ifs”, and issues are not understood.   For example, a family member gets sick and we don’t know what is going to happen next.  What if it gets worse?  How long until full-recovery?  How will I be able to financially support this?   We’ve all been there:  frustration, anxiety, fear, worry, and zero serenity.

Once things start to become clear, we move into the Acceptance quadrant.  Each of us has a built-in acceptance rate.  Think about it—the more experience we have at work, our acceptance rate may be higher compared to when we first started.  I know I was a little hesitant when I first started my Crossfit journey, but since being there a little over a year I am eager to take on challenges and join classes involving movements I know I suck at—handstand pushups?  Yeah, talk about outside of the comfort zone.  As acceptance is reached, we move into a new place of Contentment.  This happens organically and naturally.  Serenity and peace is present.  We have a sense of gratitude and we are happy the way things are going.  However, we want to avoid staying in this place for too long… why?  Things don’t change for the better if we remain content.   My body won’t get stronger if I stay at the same weights all the time.  My diet won’t be healthier if I eat the same thing day after day, even if I am content with a vegetable omelet every morning.  Job situations won’t improve unless we take responsibility and challenge ourselves.

What I encourage you to do is become someone that helps others through change as well as asking for the perseverance and strength to get through personal challenges and changes.  Be a resource to a co-worker, offer a listening ear to your family and friends, help provide understanding to someone that is battling with acceptance, and most importantly—be the one that  can look back at the changes in your life and know you have handled with them integrity.