You may have heard of the saying, “The only constant in the world is change.” This quote is difficult to argue against, as everyone experiences changes in their life. Change is inevitable and as Gem Manalansang, speaker at “Thought Leaders: Embracing Change: Ways to Adapt Faster to Change” puts it, “We cannot avoid change. The more we resist change, the tougher our lives become.”
Change can be a result of many things. To make it easier to understand, Manalansang simplified it down to three main reasons:
- Crisis. Sometimes, the change that we need to undergo or have undergone is a result of unfortunate events that happened to our lives.
- Choice. There are changes that are not necessary but are a result of our choices.
- Chance. Sometimes, it is just that opportunity presents itself in random situations and makes you go for a change that was not really on your radar.
Whatever the reason is, we all may have difficulty changing– especially for the ones that are not favourable for us. These changes can be experienced in three main areas:
Business. Changes necessary to be made for your business. This may include a change in the competitive landscape, changes in technologies, or changes in systems or processes.
Career or school. This may include a change in your employment, leader, or school.
Personal. Changes in our physical being also brings forth challenges. A change in diet due to a disease can be complex for you, but it is necessary. Moreover, because of the pandemic, the sudden change in global operations and daily activities have been altered, which has posed challenges to many.
Given these reasons and areas where we experience challenges to change, what are the ways to embrace change? Manalansang presented three simple key points.
Understand your ‘why’
The first step is to ask the question “Why am I doing this or why do I need to do this?” Understand the purpose of the change that you need to undergo so you can better accept it. Manalansang said, “When we don’t understand our ‘why,’ that’s when we struggle,” and that is true. Purpose gives us direction. Knowing your purpose makes it easier to accept and go through change no matter what it is.
Identify your uncertainty. Things we do not know make us anxious and resistant to change. The answer to this is by getting more information about the change. Ask questions from people and do some research on the subject so your uncertainty can be met.
Make and break connections
Manalansang stated, “We cling so much in the past that it prevents us from embracing what’s new.” be willing to let go of connections that no longer work for you. Manalansang suggested creating ceremonies to welcome the change and say goodbye to old ways. For example, girls cut their hair when they are undergoing a breakup or a loss. You can have your own ceremony that works for you that could help you cope with the situation.
But when all these things have been done and you are still struggling, apply the 3A’s.
Assess – see into the situation. Determine what is going well and what is not.
Adjust – based on your findings in your assessment, adjust your actions, behaviours, or beliefs before you proceed
Accelerate – things will accelerate in your changes when you are able to set things right.
Changes are inevitable and adapting to them is what will help us shorten the learning curve and be more productive. There are many reasons why we go through changes, and there are also areas in which we experience change.
To go through change faster and effectively, you can apply Manalansang’s three steps: understand the purpose, be certain, and make and break connections. You can also use the 3A’s to monitor how well you are coping with the situation: Assess, Adjust, Accelerate.