4 Powerful Thought Patterns to Master Change Now
Change is one of the more feared things we experience as humans (next to death and taxes).
The very word is super emotionally-charged and comes with a boatload of negative thoughts.
Most of us fear change because we think it ultimately represents a threat that may leave us worse off than before. Few of us embrace change as an opportunity.
Disappointments and setbacks are unavoidable. On the work front, this endless process of change begins when you first enter the workforce, and it continues for the rest of your career. Some things work out, some don't, some bosses are great, some are not, some projects are successful, some are not, some sales are made, some are not and so forth.
You must begin cultivating a mindset where you simply won’t allow yourself to invest too much emotional energy in things that don’t go your way.
The key is to reframe how you choose to view what happens in your world.
While it might seem like circumstances are beyond our control (which many of them are), when we see change coming or are blind-sided with an unexpected event, it's really the issue of control that throws people off balance.
Think of it this way:
Most of your stress and unhappiness comes as a result of feeling out of control in a particular area of your life. If you think about the times or places where you felt the very best about yourself, you will realize that you had a high degree of control in those places.
Psychologists call this the difference between an "internal locus of control" and an "external locus of control". Your locus of control is where you feel the control is located for a particular part of your life.
People with an external locus of control feel they are controlled by outside forces, their bills, their relationships, childhood experiences or their external environment. When a person has an external locus of control, he or she feels a high degree of stress.
People with an internal locus of control possess a high level of self-determination. They feel very much in charge of their life. They accept a high level of responsibility and believe everything happens for a reason. They are the primary creative force in their life.
Here are 4 powerful thought pattern shifts for dealing with change:
1. Accept that change is reality
As William James said, "The starting point in dealing with any difficulty is to be willing to have it so." One of the best ways to deal with the worry about what lies ahead of change is to sit down with pen and paper and answer the question, "What exactly am I worrying about?" When you begin to define what it is, it suddenly becomes less stressful for you. You move your mind from the unknown to the known creating clarity and calmness.
2. Determine the worst-case scenario
Ask yourself, "What is the worst possible thing that can happen as a result of this change?" and decide to accept it if it does happen. Mentally resolve that, even if the worst possible consequences do occur, it won't be the end of the world for you. This will greatly reduce your level of stress and anxiety and allow you to be more productive.
3. Adjust your behaviors and actions to the new situation
Ask yourself, "What are all the things I can do to make sure the worst does not occur?" Sometimes we call this damage control or the "mini-max" regret solution. What can you do to minimize the maximum damage or setback? By thinking and planning how to move forward you’re taking control and changing your mindset to be solution oriented versus fearful or victim oriented.
4. Improve on or change the existing situation
Often, a change signals that your plans are incomplete or that you might be heading in the wrong direction. Ask yourself, "How can this change be healthy and a positive step toward achieving my greater goals?" You can always find something good and of benefit to you even when you’re in the midst of change or disruption. Don't be afraid to re-think, re-build, re-calibrate or change directions completely.
As Brian Tracy likes to say “Its never too late to turn around when you’re going in the wrong direction.”
Your ability to function with calmness, clarity and quiet assurance will mark you as the kind of person who is going places in life and business.
A mark of a successful person is what has been called "tolerance for ambiguity." Your ability to ride the tides of change with confidence is a must-have, both in leadership and in life. Interestingly, the more successful you become, the greater your responsibilities and the faster the rate of change is that you’ll experience!
There are only one of two thought camps you can ultimately choose to end up in; either being mired in self-defeating victim thoughts or buoyed up by positive proactive victor thoughts.
What camp you choose will ultimately determine the level of your potential in business and in life.
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