Change comes in different sizes - overcoming traumatic change.
“You need to embrace change”, those are probably the last words a person would say to me before they get strangled. Why does it have to change? What was wrong with the way it was before? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. All these are bubbles and safety nets we place around ourselves. They fester, and the longer you keep those change walls up, the worse your mechanisms to cope with change would get.
Listen to: 010 | Embrace change: Master the art of adaptation, even in dire situations
See, I was the same, and in many ways still are as described above. I do not like change, particularly change that will take me out of my personal comfort-zone. No matter what I do, change always comes in the most obscene, unsuspecting ways. Each time I act surprised, as if I still do not understand that change is inevitable and have still not made my peace with it.
Here’s the thing, one cannot grow without change. The very concept of one scenario changing to another is a point of growth. We all need to learn how to lean into change. There are good and bad change, scary and exciting change – either way they all present a certain aspect of uncertainty and this is where most of our fear of change comes from.
What’s the worst that can happen.
A friend of the show went through an extremely unsuspected retrenchment after more than 8 years of service with his company. There was no good reasoning for it other than the position of head of department was being made redundant. He reasoned with HR and explained their loss should he leave and even attempted quantifying his facts of what they stand to lose on his departure.
During this process he realized that, should they even give in to his pleading, he would surely not be happy, safe or motivated anymore. So, he negotiated a package and went his separate way.
The very concept of one scenario changing to another is a point of growth. We all need to learn how to lean into change.
For months he struggled with the idea that he was retrenched. Grappling with the unfairness of it all. He was arguably most qualified for the job, but they did not even look into cutting into his team, they took the head of the department just like that. It made no business sense; the HR people did not even know him at all. To them he was just a number, and a quota that they need to fulfill.
No matter the amount of support he got from his family and friends, the resentment and hate kept festering in him, eating away at him like a cancer.
Luckily, he noticed how destructive the situation was and he actually made the call to see a therapist and get some help to overcome this shocking turning point in his life. The therapy started paying off and he had to kind of retrain his brain into acceptance. There was no understanding or reasoning – just as there is never reasoning for an unexpected death in the family, or a dreaded disease slowly overcoming someone. It just happens. It is what we chose to do in the midst of the change, that really makes the difference.
When we talk about change and change is inevitable -or- one should embrace change, it depends on the type of change as not all change is measured equally. A new career opportunity, is scary, intimidating etc. but I think we can all agree, mostly exciting and positive change. The seasons changing is expected change. Your plans to spend a nice evening outdoors and then it rained out, results in annoying irritable change. But in all change, there lies opportunity, even in the worst kind, even in death dare I say.
It is what we chose to do in the midst of the change, that really makes the difference.
Now, do not misinterpret here – no possible opportunity or positive thing that comes from death, outweighs the loss. Given a choice – the person staying alive, would always win. But even in death, there are things one can learn.
I have personally lost a relative to cancer. While nothing would be better than to have that person back, I did learn valuable lessons from this person. I learnt that nothing I ever went though that was hard, was actually truly hard. I learnt to stop complaining so much. I learnt to spend more time with loved ones. I learnt to use your finite amount of time on earth as efficiently and effectively as possible. Stop hating, stop being angry, stop wasting time, stop letting traffic upset you, stop taking everything so seriously. I learnt about forgiveness and love and life – and so did everyone that surrounded the relative during her fateful 17-month fight.
Our friend of the show, faced with the adversity of retrenchment, dealing with the shock and resentment – finally broke through the pain and started changing his train of thought.
He started applying for jobs, landed some interviews and got another job. It took time and grit and effort, but he actually landed his dream job.
Stop hating, stop being angry, stop wasting time, stop letting traffic upset you, stop taking everything so seriously
Hindsight has also taught him that he was in such a comfort zone where he was. There was enough money, satisfaction, securities and safety nets in place that he was okay to hover along this finite time on earth just like that. He realizes now that he would’ve potentially never aimed higher or to reach his goal of working at his dream company. The kick he needed, was to be forced into it – he survived, learnt an extremely valuable lesson and grew. All in all, a few years later, he is much better off than he ever was at his previous company also.
We need to find a way to embrace change. Or allow yourself to acknowledge the emotion of fear, anxiety or doubt, but have the emotional intelligence to also know that the change will probably lift you up and grow you, long-term. Once you have mastered this mind-control witchcraft, you need to practice change as frequently as possible. For if you keep changing with the objective to grow after each change, you will reach your life mission or goals much faster and outperform any pace that you could ever dream to set for yourself and your aspirations.
Once you have mastered this mind-control witchcraft, you need to practice change as frequently as possible.