4 Things to Remember in the Face of Change
One of my least favorite things to do is start a new job.
There are new people to get to know. New procedures to follow. New places to find. New passwords to remember. New open enrollments to accidentally forget about. New bosses to report to.
The overwhelming newness almost makes it worth keeping the old job.
Like a new job, a better story will require change. Change demands something new.
There is no way to circumvent it. We have to break free of old habits and routines and wander into an unknown place.
Whatever story you choose, you will have to leave that which is familiar behind and take a new path. One that leads into the unknown. Into the uncertain.
And the thought of something new scares us.
We can despise the newness so much that we choose the old instead.
Different can be too hard.
I recently traveled to Kenya on a medical mission trip. I had the privilege of taking care of a group of people who do not have the same access to healthcare that we enjoy.
While the idea of medicine is essentially the same there, it is also very different, and it proved hard at times.
Injuries were very similar. Tools were somewhat different. Culture and expectations were completely different.
Showing up is important, but just showing up isn’t enough. We also have to adjust to this new, unfamiliar territory.
There are 4 tools that I took with me on the mission trip that are helpful anytime we try something new.
1. Resourcefulness. Since Kindergarden we have been told exactly what to do. Everything we need to do our jobs has been handed to us. The factory has taught us to be anything but resourceful. Resourcefulness means doing whatever it takes to solve the problem. Something new requires something different. Something different requires a new set of tools.
Don’t give up. If the tools don’t exist to do the job, be the person who develops them.
2. Adaptability. This isn’t Kansas anymore. All of our assumptions about the world may not apply in a new place. What worked before may not work now. Be open to different ideas. Be willing to keep trying something new, even when you have your doubts.
Don’t fight adjusting to the new conditions. With time, they will become the old ones.
3. Sense of Humor. Laughing is certainly better than crying. Instead of becoming frustrated or anger, find the humor in the situation. Whatever it is that is not working out quite like you expected will prove to be humorous. Eventually.
Learn to laugh at yourself. It makes any tough situation a little bit easier.
4. Humility. We resist change because of pride. It takes humility to accept the idea that we don’t know everything. It takes humility to ask for help. Pride guarantees that we will never improve. Humility opens the possibility that we can learn something new and get better at what we do.
The greatest failure isn’t the lack of success. It is the failure to learn from mistakes.
Change will always be intimidating, but we can make it easier on ourselves, which in turn will make it easier to choose your better story.
Do you struggle with change? Tell us what helps you in the comments.