We all experienced change in our life. Whether small, like moving to a new home, or larger, like changing job or moving to a new country, it always comes with a fair amount of stress. I believe that the stress associated with change is coming from all the uncertainty that change triggers (I’m not a psychologist, at all.). I have had a fair share of change in my life, moving across multiple countries, changing jobs, becoming a husband and a dad, and more recently going through re-organization and layoffs at my workplace. Looking back, and simplifying a bit, there is really 3 phases of change (psychologists would argue there are multiple stages: precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, maintenance). In the first phase you come to be aware of upcoming change, the second phase is the proper transition period, and the third phase is when the change is completed. Below are some tactics I have been using to have a smooth transition.
It’s crucial to acknowledge when change is coming your way. At this point you might not know where you are heading to but you should not ignore the change. Being aware of the change have a couple of positive aspects, you can stay in motion with the change and actively help influencing the direction of the change. Not knowing where the journey will end is stressful, no question about this but it is important to have a north star to ‘survive’ the cycle. Don’t fall into a panic mode (people around you might be freaking out, don’t let this impact you – help them see the benefits of the change or its temporality). Understanding the root of the change will be extremely useful during the next phases.
Change is ongoing, embrace it! At this point, there is probably a lot of chaos, a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of frustration. As with most things, we can turn this time to have a couple of positive outcome. Get involved in the transition, help make it successful, stir it in the right direction. Getting knowledge on the change will help you adjust to it. Stay aware that you are in a transition phase, level down your anxiety and be patient.
At this point, you should have adjusted to the change. You can start focusing on building up on the new foundation. Have a look back and be proud of the journey you just had, another one is coming soon…