Unexpected change. We've all experienced it.
I'm talking about the kind where you wake up at 6 am, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to conquer your day. You hit every green light, get a front row parking spot, and there's still hot coffee in the pot when you arrive to work.
And then, it's suddenly 10 am, and you're at home again, sitting on your sofa, staring blankly at a rerun of Criminal Minds, wondering exactly how you apply for unemployment.
We're all hit with unexpected changes in ways we can't fathom - and shouldn't even attempt to ponder. So what does one do to prepare for the unexpected - without making yourself crazy in the process? Find a mechanism you can rely on to help you successfully navigate your new landscape.
Change is always right around the corner - just like girls scouts at the grocery store during cookie season.
Change can happen in an instant - just like losing an hour of your day at 2 am during daylight savings time.
To build up your "embrace-unexpected-change muscle," you've got to recognize change for what it is - a difference in being, process, or habit that is temporarily unfamiliar. Which means you've got an opportunity!
Change starts with you.
And you can use these three questions to begin the process of embracing change.
1) What knowledge do you already possess that's similar to your new reality? How can it help you transition?
You've faced drastic changes before, and you lived! How? More than likely, you adapted something you already knew and applied it to an unfamiliar situation. Remove how you feel about the change and focus instead on the facts. Reflect on what you already know, how you can repurpose your knowledge, and identify actionable steps you can take to embrace your situation.
2) What knowledge or skill can you learn to help you adapt to change?
Learning something new is a way of life. You learned how to walk—learned how to drive—learned how to do laundry without turning your white socks pink. All of those things required guidance and help from others - and navigating change as an adult is no different. If your friend asked you for help in learning something new, you'd jump at the chance to share your knowledge! When it comes to YOUR change situation - Be that friend and ask for help.
3) What growth opportunity awaits you if you embrace change?
It's easy to dwell on all the perils that 'could' overtake us when change hits - it's how we're wired. But successful people know that change breeds opportunity! Remember, "When one door closes, another door opens." Take time and list ten positive outcomes that could happen by choosing to embrace change - then keep all ten in focus as you move forward.
Remember, you choose how you'll respond when change happens. Using the three questions above will help you make the most of an unexpected situation!