7 Steps to Adapt To Change

7 Steps to Adapt To ChangeI am so grateful that I have spent the past five years listening to my clients and asking questions to train their attention to notice; celebrate and manage themselves through change.

Hours of helpful and honest conversations means that now in a crisis I am observing them adjust and adapt very quickly. Here are my top tips that have come from those conversations:

C – Conscious Thinking

Be aware of your thoughts and whether they are supporting or hindering change. The story you tell yourself impacts how you feel and how you feel evokes action, reaction or inaction. There is no point saying all the right things outside if inside you are saying something different.

H – Honest and Helpful Conversations.

Having space and time with people that can listen while you say what you are ‘really’ thinking, without fear of judgment or criticism can free you from the burden that too many attempt to carry alone in silence. When your role requires you to be positive, optimistic and motivational for others it is important that you do have a network of support where you can be honest with yourself at least.

A – Acceptance and Acknowledge.

Change often means the ending of one thing which creates space for new. Sometimes we cannot see the new and so we are simply left with a space where something was. This can evoke emotions and feelings often associated with grief and loss. You might at first want to pretend it is not happening; you might get angry or feel depressed. These can be part of change. When you know your own process for change you can start to reassure yourself that these emotions will pass.

N – Nurture the negative niggles.

At times of change we can experience more overwhelm especially if we are trying to keep it all together outside whilst inside is in turmoil. One of the activities I do with my clients is called ‘Nurture the negative niggles”. We usually grab a pile of post it note and write down everything that is bothering you Every thing that is on your mind. Every thought, half made decision or idea that is just about forming. Place them somewhere you can see them. Then step back and notice what you notice. Notice any patterns then consider what are you drawn to work on first? Then with that one thing in mind ask yourself “What you would like to have happen?” By making your thoughts and feeling conscious and visible you can make conscious rather than reactive decisions.

G – Gratitude for Growth

It is in my experience and opinion that growth comes from change.. Learning to look out for and bear witness to the opportunity for growth before; during and post change can change your own experience. It becomes something that you relish and thrive upon rather than something that consumes and overwhelms you. By asking the question like: “What is this teaching me?” or “What am I learning about myself as a result of this change?” Or “What do I know now? You can direct your attention towards the lessons and the growth that is being created.

E – Embrace and expand your comfort zone

Our comfort zone is often determined by that which is predictable and familiar. As you go through change people can have different experiences. For some they feel like the walls are closing in and like they are stuck in the comfort zone. For others it is like the thing they want is miles away and whilst they are safe in their comfort zone the gap between where they are now and where they want to be is massive. Many describe it as a chasm and something that requires a leap of faith.

By training your attention on what works; what has worked and what is happening when you are managing and adapting to change well? You can not only embrace your current comfort zone but also expand it. Sometimes when change is imposed on us, it can catapult us out of our comfort zone, through our stretch zone into the panic zone. Bringing yourself back to what is working and combining that with gratitude for growth can bring you back first and foremost to your current comfort zone which might be smaller than before. Then you can work to expand it again.

S – Seek out support

So many of the clients I work with have roles where they have to ‘hold’ it together for others. They might even be giving great advice to others about how to manage the change and so they think they should be able to do it for themselves without support. They think if they show any signs of struggle then others will lose confidence in them. This might be true and if it is then I strongly recommend you seek out external peer support to include people that get that change is tough and that a moment of frustration does not define you, it is simply and expression of emotion in a moment.

I believe we need time to think and time to process and many find it easier to process and think by talking. For this to happen you may need a safe to speak space. A space where we can speak and others can listen. If you are looking for that kind of support I have a group on linked in called ‘How to improve listening skills’ which sadly is not as active as I would like and a very active and supportive group on Facebook called Manage your critic https://www.facebook.com/groups/manageyourcritic/

The more I work with clients to explore their process, the more resourced they become to listen to and manage themselves and others through change.

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Sheryl Andrews (aka The Listening Detective)

Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate, manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than helping others feel heard and understood. She soon discovered there were 8 different kinds of listening and often people started talking without knowing which they needed. At Step by Step Listening they create space to explore what kind of listening works to ensure individuals are resourced to work, learn and live at their best with others and on their own. .

For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter

 

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Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult when criticised even when she knew they meant well and found it difficult to respond rather than react. A series of 3 events in her personal life exaggerated her emotional overwhelm and forced her to address this problem and conquer her sensitivity to criticism. Today she shares every day stories of every day people and inspires you to discover ways to gain clarity and confidence to change the way feedback and criticism impacts your performance.

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