Do you start well, hold your ground or sprint to the finish? Beginning well will influence how much you get out of this year. Last year was very different for all of us, in many different ways. We all had to deal with change. You may love change or hate it, welcome it or avoid it. However you feel about it, you need to find ways to deal with it, to make sure that this year is the best it can be.
So let’s look at how you can begin well now!
“Life is the key to everything. Remember, this isn’t a dress rehearsal we’re going through,
it’s the real thing.”
How do you feel about change? Have you developed a way of coping with it? Do you thrive on it or pretend it’s not happening? Are you one of the people who insist that the old way is better, or do you find ways to accept it? Do you initiate change yourself and hope others will follow you? There is no right or wrong way to deal with change – we all have our own ways of coping and our own timeframes for dealing with it.
The Kübler-Ross Change Curve
Back in 1969 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross came up with an effective way of looking at the process that most of us go through with change. It plots morale (or how you feel) against the progression of change over time. You might have seen her curve before – it’s a good way to look at how we deal with change, whatever it might be, no matter how big or small.
- Shock – “What! I can’t believe this!”
- Denial – “I’ve always done it my way – these crazy notions will pass.”
- Frustration and blame – “Why does this affect me?”
- Depression and apathy – “I’m giving up now.”
- Experiments – “I’ll give this a go – anything’s better than feeling this way!”
- Decisions about what might work. – “This isn’t too bad it might be OK.”
- Integration – “This is the sparkly new me!”
Look back at any change you’ve been through, large or small, recently or in the past. Can you see how you worked through these different stages? How does your past performance look? Are you comfortable with small change, but struggle with larger issues? Do you cope better when you can see the change coming, or are you the one to start things off?
Think about changes over which you had no control. Think about changes you initiated. Can you see differences? What do you feel you do well? What are the areas you feel you could do better with change?
Again there are no right or wrong answers. Understanding how you tend to cope with change can really help you going forwards. This understanding will help you to deal with all sorts of change more effectively in the future.
If you tend to dwell on the past, you might get stuck in the early part of the curve, perhaps feeling depressed or slipping back into denial. If you focus more on the future you may find yourself trying out new ways, but never fully integrate them into your life. It’s common to struggle with the later stages of the curve – you’re not alone!