People who successfully navigate change know that the quicker they accept it, the less pain and hardship there will be.
Resisting change is never the answer, and yet, we all do it. We resist the new boss. We resist the expense cuts. We resist the new strategy from the top or job responsibilities we didn't really sign up for. We resist the fact that we lost money. We resist that we are getting older! But as one of my favorite quote (by Byron Katie) says, "when you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time!"
People who successfully navigate change know that the quicker they accept a situation, the less painful it will be.
The image I like to share is of being in a river. Change is about going in the direction of the river. What makes change hard is when something we don't quite expect or see as a positive happens. We desperately cling to a rock -- we don't know how things are going to turn out so we prefer keeping things at least as they are. We don't switch gears. We don't focus on what to do now. Instead we beat ourselves up or, worse, we start rowing back upstream. We want the team back, the job back, the relationship back. Remember this. Everything that is right for you now is ahead of you, downstream. We often longingly look back to how things were. Let go of the way you think life should be or work should be or the company should be. The quicker you can get to a place where you can accept whatever has happened, the less tough it will be for you. Don't resist the momentum even if it looks totally different than what you were planning.
Acceptance comes in two forms, accepting yourself and accepting whatever may be happening to you personally, professionally and financially. Accepting yourself means allowing yourself to be human, to get it less-than-right, to make a poor decision, to miss out on an opportunity or deal, to accept how you look, to accept your strengths and weaknesses. How much time do you waste beating up on yourself, kicking yourself, telling yourself negative stuff. Ask yourself, what part of yourself don't you accept?
Then, ask yourself what you still need to accept in your life. Did you miss out on the stock rally? Have you put on weight? Were you were dumped or fired? When you resist, you give these situations more power. When you don't accept something, it's like trying to drive forward with your parking brake still on.
Finally, ask yourself who do you need to accept? Is it your spouse, boss, an annoying colleague, a parent? When the people around you feel accepted, that's surprisingly when they then start to change. Perhaps you are having a challenge with many people right now in your life. So, focus on accepting them completely instead of hoping they will change and watch what happens.
Allow things to be as they are and you'll see where change really happens.