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Conquering the ‘Change’ Challenge


   “I just got used to yesterday, and along came today”


Do all of the changes in life making your head spin? If you are one of the fortunate people who happen to thrive on change, you are living in a glorious time and loving it.    If, however, you are one of the millions who resist change, it can be a difficult journey. So what can you do to successfully deal with changes?


  1.       Be Flexible.  Know that nothing is perfect—including us.  As much as we would like to think we have molded ourselves, our mindsets, and our behavior into what we feel is a premiere human being, we have to recognize there is always room for the new and different. When outside forces change, there is a rubber band affect that demands we flex our adventurous spirit and change also.  When you think of people whom you would describe as aging ‘gracefully’, what qualities do you see?   They are open to new ideas, are not quick to judge, and are willing to try new things. Know that doing change well is an attitude thing -- we can change or control it at will.  

  2.       Recognize that we are creatures of habit.   Actually our life is made up of change that we accept everyday.    We change our clothes, change our meal menus, change our plans, change friends, change our minds, change our hairstyle, change the movies we see—and the list goes on.  Life IS change.  It’s when change threatens to alter the habits we’ve created that it becomes a challenge.  In most cases, change is not  technically or physically challenging— but it is emotional challenging. It may require that we change our mindset, and, for many, that is the most difficult change of all.

  3.       Look at change as an opportunity.   Whether you find yourself alone or an empty nester for the first time, take classes, volunteer, join clubs.  Find a good support group to help you through your transition so you can recognize the doors of opportunity that are there for you.  In workplace restructuring, become a change agent.  Ask what you can do to help facilitate this change, volunteer to be on a committee, offer your services. How can you help in the transition?   Believe in yourself.   If your job has been eliminated, look on it as an opportunity for yourself.   In actuality, it may be just the boost you needed to get you to spread your wings and take on a new challenge.

  4.       Face your Fear - Define what it is about a change that disturbs you. The major reason people resist change is the fear looking foolish. We let our pride get in the way of our personal development and we protect ourself by placing limitations –an invisible ceiling--on ourselves.  Staying in our comfort zone is a safe place to be.    Dare to step out of your box and aggressively attack whatever fear you have lurking inside your psyche—face it head on.  You may want to take it one step at a time. Write down your goal and focus on the result.  Celebrate every step as a victory.

  5.       Step out of your comfort zone.  Try something you’ve never done before—it might be as simple as shopping a different grocery store or taking a different route to a regular destination. Do something different today from what you did yesterday. A good first step:  Try something new as often as you can.   

  6.       Work through the Transition.   Think of change as a result.  It is in making the transition to the change that most of us have the problem.  William Bridges professes transition is a 3-phase process:  An ending, and in between time, and a new beginning.   Too often we cling onto the old, rather than honoring the memories and saying good-bye.   Remember when the pet died and your kids gave it a funeral?  Funerals provide  a formal ending, and a new beginning for those remaining to go on with their lives.  

  7.        In companies under new ownership with hovering threats of layoffs,  Transition Event banquet or luncheon is a great idea.  I’ve spoken at such events and have found that it makes the transition easier when the employees receive a dose of humor, motivation and inspiration. In some organizations where there has been massive policy and department changes, department heads have held mock “funerals” in honor of the past teamwork and accomplishments. It gives the past a finality and frees minds so they can be open to the future.  

  8.       Be Positive.  “The future ain’t what it used to be.” As a result,  many will have torestructure their mindset to be open to all the options the millennium will offer. As we get older, it is tough enough to be open to different methods and ideas. Beware of a “My way or the highway” attitude.  It is sure death to many good things and it will shut  you off from some pretty wonderful experiences in life.  A week with my married children “Gen-Xers” not only sends occasional painful reminders of my generational thinking but helps to snap me into the present. The trick is to be quiet, listen, and then be ready to think “Hey, that might just work!” In the workplace, encourage suggestions from your employees.   Then be sure to recognize their suggestion and effort. Write a thank you, recognize their efforts at  your weekly  meeting.  Even if this suggestion is a bomb, their next one might be dynamite!  The smallest idea can become a company’s biggest asset. These are exciting times.   The workplace is no longer the traditional stoic site that it once was and is for many being replaced by e-commerce and home offices. Fishermen are seen in their boats with their cell phones and faxes doing business while fishing.           

  9.       Keep Current.  Keep up on trends, styles and happenings. A few suggestions would be sign up Trend Alert, a free e-mail from alertsignup.html. Magazines like “Fast Company” and  “Wired” will keep you on top of the hi-tech industry happenings.  Also pay attention to current hit movies and best       sellers.  In the next decade and beyond,  retirement for most will mean a ‘working’ retirement—so keep acquiring skills and taking classes.  These keep you current, in the swing of change and  will enable you to venture into new areas.   Remember, keep an open mind and be ready to say, Change? Bring it on!   



                        “Change is our the bridge to the future, without it,  we are stuck in the past.”





 Kinza Christenson,The Motivator!

Performance Specialist 

Keynote * Banquets * Training.

262-567-6317  /



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