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How to embrace change?

Change is something natural like breath. It happens all the time, even when we don’t even realize it. Everything changes: days, months, seasons, years. And people? Do people change? The eternal question! Research evidence and our daily experience show that people don’t change if others want them to change. However, we can all change if we want to. So it all starts with a decision. “Do I want to change? What can I gain? What may I lose?”

The fear of risk

Usual reactions to change are flight and/or fight:
Flight: we procrastinate, pretend not to see the need, avoid doing it.
Fight: we sabotage it, focus on weaknesses and threats and convince also others not to do it.
In all the above-mentioned scenarios the underlying feeling is of course fear, most often fear of failure, fear of rejection.

What’s in it for me?

If we don’t understand, see, feel that there is something in it for ourselves, change will not be attractive, thus feasible. Change takes effort, dedication, flexibility, initiative, investment of energy and time, resilience. It is an act of leadership. Therefore, the motivation for the target needs to be strong. On the other hand, in some cases the drive to change may derive from being tired or angry with the current situation. And then we start to move!

Strategy is your ally!

In order to assess a potential change, we can use the well-known SWOT analysis, a very powerful tool in coaching concerning decision making:

  • Strengths: the positive aspects I already know and can count on.
  • Weaknesses: the negative aspects that I already know and must take into account.
  • Opportunities: a forecasting of the good things for the future.
  • Threats: a forecasting of what may go wrong.

If we fail to plan, then we must plan to fail. So change requires strategy!

The road to change

  • Clarify what you want! What is the target? Why is it important to you? What resources do you have, what do you need to acquire?
  • Plan your steps clearly! Write them down on paper, conduct thoroughly your SWOT analysis for as many scenarios as you want, set your priorities.
  • Be patient and consistent! Leaps like fireworks are impressive, but they don’t last. You need to take stable, confident steps.
  • Establish partnerships! A supportive network always helps enhance your self-confidence and also exchange ideas.
  • Celebrate the results! Don’t wait for the big success, everything counts. So dare to feel proud for yourself on the way.
  • Review your actions and remember that there is no failure only feedback!
  • Keep up the good work to maintain the change!

The road to change may be bumpy sometimes, but isn’t life itself so? Bumpy moments are part of our path and not out of our path, as we sometimes think. Enjoy every step of the way!

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

Copyright main picture (Forest separated by a road): Designed by Freepik

Dimitra KaratolouDimitra Karatolou holds a BA in Communication and Mass Media by the University of Athens and an MSc in Social and Organizational Psychology by the London School of Economics. In 2007 she created her own company Lifepassport – dream, plan, act! Until today she has designed and delivered more than 700 training hours and 1.000 coaching hours.

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