I’m really excited to be talking about 2 topics that I believe definitely go hand in hand……coping with change and wine!
Because let’s face it……wine (or your nominated beverage!) helps us cope with change….well it does me! But what do we do when it does stop working? Because eventually it will, and all we will have is ourselves to rely on.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘change is the only constant in our lives’. And it’s pretty true, I reckon.
But sayings like that don’t make it any easier to navigate when we are in the thick of change.
Whether it be career change or personal change, most of us are creatures of habit and it takes some adjusting (and some wine!) as we navigate going through that change.
I’m often asked how I prepare for change. How I cope with change.
I’ve dealt with ALOT of change in my life. I’ve helped others navigate change and I’ve had to navigate change myself – professionally as a HR professional and also personally.
And either way, my initial response has usually always been…….wine! If you hadn’t noticed, wine helps me a lot! But there comes a point where we have to stop the wine and get on with it (trust me, that can take some doing!).
Being a HR professional you’d think I’d have this change thing down pat wouldn’t you?! But I will be the first to put my hand up and say I don’t really like change. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t embrace it. I do. It just doesn’t happen overnight for me.
We all have periods where we go through some major changes, so I’ve put together 5 tips that I wanted to share with you on how you can cope with change in your life.
1. Embrace the change
Acknowledge it. Face it head on. It doesn’t mean you have to love it. It doesn’t mean you have to act right now. But don’t stick your head in the sand for ever. Don’t deny the change is happening. It just prolongs the inevitable.
Take some time. Gather your thoughts. Look at how the change will affect your life. Write a list if you need to. Allow yourself time to process what is going on around you and then also how you will respond.
Inevitably you will have to get good with it at some point, because unless we have total control over it (and most of the time we don’t – otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you today about how to deal with it!) we have to go through it. So wouldn’t it be better to go through it knowing you have taken the time to have thought through a reasoned response.
You WILL come out the other side ok. No matter what the change is. You will be ok. And more often we come out the other side of change more resilient, stronger in ourselves and more confident of ourselves.
2. Get the whole story – Have Awareness
If you are unsure why the change is happening (particularly in a professional/career/study environment) it’s important to ask questions. Get as much of the story as you can. Be really aware of the whole situation. It also helps distinguish fact from fiction; truth from rumour.
Make a point of learning why the change has come about. Understand it from the other side. Despite what we think, we tend not to be the sole reason for the change. There are usually lots of reasons.
Upon learning more, understanding more, we then may find that the change is not what we thought and that a much less animated approach is warranted.
Which then leads me to my next tip……
3. Control what you can
So I think we all agree that for most of the change that goes on around us, we never have total control. So let’s think about what we can control.
Only when we really understand the change can we start to control some aspects of the change.
We can control our thoughts.
We can control our responses (to the change and towards others).
Think about what YOU want from the change.
Think about past experiences with change. How have you handled it previously? Do you want to continue down that same path? What worked for you? What didn’t work for you?
Write out your fears. Being self-aware is a great thing!
We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond to it. That’s why it’s important to recognise what’s beyond your control. You’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary time and stress spent on things you can’t change.
Focus instead on what you can control – that’s the key to managing your response and moving forward.
4. Don’t go it alone
Find someone you can talk to. Someone you can be totally vulnerable with. Someone who will support you and encourage you every step of the way. Someone who will commiserate and celebrate with you (yep….with wine!). And you with them.
It’s important to remember that not everyone likes change. Not everyone sees it as an adventure. Some love the predictability and routine of their lives. And that’s ok. Change means so many different things to so many different people.
Everyone deals with change differently. But you’re not alone. Remember to reach out. You just never know. The person next to you might be feeling the same way and may also relish someone to talk with.
Don’t be too proud.
5. Be kind to yourself
It’s important to realise that at times of change we can feel stressed, anxious, unsure. It’s equally important to let ourselves run through those emotions. But be kind to yourself in the process. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling all the feels that happen along the way.
Acknowledge them. Respect them. But don’t live there too long. Go and do something nice for yourself. Even if that means stepping away from life for 10mins and having a cuppa in silence. Take time for you.
And my last tip…..
6. Never stop learning
John Assaraf says ‘One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain’.
Through change we foster growth. Growth comes by learning something new about a situation or about ourselves.
Embracing change means that you are learning new skills. It means that you are learning how to respond to change. The same emotions may still show up – fear; her sister anxiety; their cousins overwhelm and stress…. but when you learn how to acknowledge those feelings and start to respond to them positively it means that you are learning about YOU! Each.And.Every.Time.
Knowing how you deal with change and responding accordingly means that you are going to bounce back when things don’t go to plan.
Dealing with change isn’t easy. It can be uncomfortable, stressful and downright scary!
But change makes us who we are today.
A friend of mine, Pete Cossaboon, says ‘Open yourself to the pursuit of change. Allow the journey, the process of becoming more to make you come alive rather than fill you with dread. Take control of your own happiness and rule your life’.
How do you know it’s not going to be better on the other side?
Why not take the leap and see what opportunities are there waiting for you.
You just never know…….
And finally the most important tip to remember……if all of the above fail……there is still wine!