“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”
– Brian Tracy
Change is nonstop. Life coaches and proponents of positive thinking are nearly unanimous in recommending that we accept and embrace change.
While that is good advice, sometimes change brings with it uncertainty, fear, doubt, failure and dashed hopes. We may start off with an optimistic outlook, only to encounter some difficulty or unexpected problem that throws everything we had planned off-kilter.
We might just give up on the change we’re trying to make.
Or, we might become even more determined to see it through.
The attitude we adopt is really the key to what comes afterward. Granted, we cannot predict what will happen or what will ultimately be the result of our actions, but we can control how we think about our prospects, what we believe our strengths are and how self-confident we are.
It does take practice to see the hopeful, rather than the dismal, but we can learn how to do this.
Here are some tips on mastering change:
- Keep your eye on the goal.
While interruptions and challenges are bound to occur, if you have a firm grasp of what you want to achieve, you’ll be poised to weather distractions and detours along the way.
- Revisit your plan often.
Sometimes, with everything being thrown at you, it’s tough to stay focused on the plan. That’s why you write it down, so you can refer to it as often as necessary to remind you of your goal – and the steps you need to take to be successful.
- Be optimistic about being able to find solutions.
Problems will occur, but you have been through these kinds of situations before and figured out solutions. Remind yourself of this and it will help bolster your resolve and maintain your optimistic attitude.
- Don’t be afraid to adapt and revise.
Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to it so rigidly that you miss opportunities. The key here is to remain flexible so that you are able to adapt and modify your plan to incorporate new ideas and perhaps take advantage of a different approach. Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of mastering change.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
When you’re embarking on change, or making a decision to change, you don’t need naysayers around you challenging your actions. Choose to be with others who are upbeat, supportive of your ideas and goals, and whose success and demeanor you admire. Positivity is contagious, and you’ll benefit from associating with positive friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances.
- Find the lesson in failure.
No one likes to think about failure, but the fact is that it happens. Should this quash your attitude about ultimately succeeding? Not if you study what happened and discover the lesson the experience holds. This makes you that much more prepared to handle whatever comes next and to take proactive measures to deal with them.
- Be open to new ideas.
You wouldn’t eat the same meal day after day, would you? Just as variety is the spice of cuisine, so, too, is the willingness to entertain new ideas. Even if what you read, see or hear is a somewhat different way to accomplish a goal than you’ve used before, it might hold some merit in terms of adaptation, revision or addition to what strategies you have in your toolkit. Knowing you have options is a great confidence-builder.
Keep in mind that the way you regard change says a lot about who you are. You can be in control of your attitude and master change, or allow change to master you.