Many have experienced significant changes in their relationships, businesses, and opportunities this year.  Most see change as chaos and some see change as opportunities to grow.  Which one are you?

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “There is nothing permanent except change.” Although change is inevitable, how we respond to it is within our control. This is something that’s equally important to realize in business and your personal life. Many people have a certain resistance to change and cling to the security of what is familiar. Learning how to embrace and control the direction of change can help you become happier and more successful.

It can be helpful to learn to be comfortable with a certain degree of discomfort. You can, however, take this a step further and learn to truly embrace change. You may need to acquire a new mindset. This involves a commitment to living in the present, which is more difficult than it may appear. We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, products of our past. The habits we’ve accumulated over the years can be hard to break.

  • Remind yourself that change is often positive and can help you both personally and professionally. Be aware of any tendency you have to hope that things will just return to normal. In reality, change is normal!
  • Read current books on change, especially in areas that pertain to your field or lifestyle. Watch videos online, such as TED Talks that help you stay up to date.
  • Stay active physically. Exercise and walking in nature are good to help you focus on your environment and stay in the present.

If you look at the greatest leaders in the world, either in the past or present, you’ll find that they openly embraced change. In many cases they are the catalyst for change. This applies equally to famous inventors in the past such as Thomas Edison and business leaders of modern times, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Richard Branson. These are not people who resisted change but who led it. You should take inspiration from the leaders you admire most, whether in the fields of politics, sports, business or any other area.

It’s a familiar truism that “change is the only constant.” However, it’s also true that the rate of change has been consistently increasing in recent years. Before the industrial revolution, it was still possible for most people to live in their own insular realities and not worry about what was happening in the wider world. As automation became prevalent and breakthroughs such as the automobile, airplane and television became popular, change became harder to resist. In the digital age, however, change is occurring at an exponential rate. You can no longer afford to hide from change. On the contrary, you should position yourself so that you welcome it and help guide it.

While the future is hard to predict, one thing of which we can be certain is that change will continue to occur at an ever faster rate. There are two ways to react to this –attempt to resist change or learn to embrace and adapt to it. The latter is a much better recipe for success and peace of mind. Your attitude determines your results in every area of your life. 

Take an honest look at yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you do have a tendency to resist change. This is very common. The good news is that it’s never too late to develop a more flexible attitude towards change.