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The Value of Change

The only constant is change and yet we are always surprised by changes happening around us.  Whenever there is a change, the first reaction is almost certain to be “rejection” – the mechanism of self preservation.

John Potter, a psychologist and leadership guru once said, “People love change, they just don’t like to be changed”.  As long as the change is not perceived as having an immediate negative effect, people could easily embrace it, especially when the change comes in driblets, evolving slowly but they are coming more rapidly with a bigger impact.

Changes become totally unmanageable, stressful and seen mostly as destructive when they hit you on the blindside, when you least expect it.

Is there value in change?

Change is a double-edged sword

As much as change is unpredictable and therefore scary, it can also be wonderful.  Like everything else, change is a double-edged sword.  How you feel about a change depends on which side of the sword you are focusing on.

For example, the internet has delivered a lot of advantages including sending your mails across the globe at the speed of light, cutting down research time tremendously, reducing cost and increasing opportunities of advertising, finding what you want anywhere in the world in the comfort of your desk and so forth.  This, however, causes problems for others:  selling in the marketplace becomes more competitive; the wealth of choices makes decision harder rather than easier; old business models no longer apply and need to change rapidly for survival and the list goes on.

Uncertainty the cause of fear in change

Change is often looked on with fear because we are never sure of the impact the change evokes.  Uncertainty is the main cause of fear.  Be open-minded and work on the uncertainties.  Eliminating them one at a time will help us regain control and be less anxious of its outcome.  Stay positive by believing that the change is better for us and it will.

Sometimes it is hard to see change as being great if you lost your job and knowing that it is difficult to find another.  Yet the opportunity that presents itself in such a circumstance may be making a new career choice.   Without losing that job, you may find it too scary to consider a career switch even when you are miserable at what you are doing.  You might then miss the one opportunity of discovering your real potential or getting a better job.  Would that not be a waste?  Waste is what we are good at because we avoid change whenever possible: we do not want to take up new responsibilities because it takes too much effort and time; we do not want to try something new because we may fail and look bad; we do not want to learn new things because it is too hard and you cannot see any value in it.

On the positive side, changes are the opportunities of renewal and re-creation.  They generate excitement and new possibilities of improvement: new products, new markets, new habits, new experiences, new friends, new connections, better earning power and so much more.  If we focus on the opportunities, we gain, survive and become better.  Life then exudes excitement and hope.  If we focus on the negativity, we wallow in misery, get depressed and overtime lose everything.

Taking up new responsibilities could lead to a promotion and trying something new may lead to a discovery of talents.  Learning new things challenges old beliefs and it offers exploration of new ideas and interests that, lo and behold, may blossom into new business ventures.  All of these are the positive sides of the same coin.  Focusing on the positive would drive one to work harder to succeed and thus expanding one’s mind, experience and self-esteem immeasurably.

If we seek for value in the change, we will find it; and if we don’t, we won’t.

Consistency vs Change

So is there value in staying consistent?  The answer is yes and no.  Being consistent is valuable only if it serves the purpose but it will become ineffective if the situation changes – and that is happening faster and faster.  So when we change our minds, supported by new inputs that render the old ineffective, that is a good thing and should not be seen as being flickered minded at all.  We are positively responding to the change.

Say, in a situation where a new managing director is appointed – and he has his own ideas about how the company should be run – everything thereafter changes including your promotional prospect.   You can blame everybody for your misfortune while waiting to be axed or you can think ways of changing yourself to adapt to the new environment.  The former makes you a victim of change while the latter allows you to be the creator of your own change.  Remaining open-minded and changing your perspective can land yourself the opportunity to grow and excel, possibly regaining your well-deserving promotion or better.   Does change have value?  You decide.

The Power of Personal Transformation: Change Yourself and Change the World

In a blog by J.D. Roth on “The Power of Personal Transformation: Change Yourself and Change the World”, he advises, based on his personal experiences, on personal transformation on the face of change:

  • The power of yes. Yes is an open mind. Yes is a willingness to try new things. Yes is allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
  • The power of focus. The ability to focus only on those things that are most important.
  • The power of action. The strength to work hard, to get things done.

Every decision you make is an opportunity of change.  Have you considered how you are affecting the people and environment around you by the actions you decide on? You will be amazed by how the little change in you could affect the people around you. Change is like ecosystems; the environment change us as much as a change in us affects the environment.

The voice in your head

Reflection often follows a change and it is through this soul-searching, genuinely sought, that helps one to accept and move on.  How you handle change depends on the voice in your head.  Thoughts you put there will determine the value of change.  Change can be traumatic but can be managed by focusing on one thing at a time.  The value of the change may not be apparent on the outset but it will inevitably appear if you know how to look out for it.  It could be months or years but as long as we stay positive, we will be rewarded.

How have you been managing your life changes?  This may be the time to ask yourself some questions:  Do you see a pattern of opportunities or blockages?  Do you tend to embrace or reject changes?  What have you discovered of yourself after each change?  What would you now do when confronted with a change?

We all grow wiser after each change, for better or worse.  Which is yours?

 

Yip Lee Fun is a personal life and workplace coach. She believes that coaching is a means to use all these and other related knowledge to help people realize their dreams, passions, potential and life purpose.