Change brings many emotions, often strong ones. Each one packs its own kind of power.
If you’re facing, or working through change, use whatever emotions you have. Harness and put that strong energy to work for you.
These are some of the emotions you may experience during change, and ways you can use them to move you forward:
Use excitement to drive you ahead, ever closer to the future you desire and imagine…and to propel you through the sometimes unnerving, sometimes exhilarating process of not quite knowing how something new will work out.
Focus on the benefits of the new circumstances to pull you most powerfully forward.
Use fear to help you anticipate things that could go wrong with the change process. Then plan and take actions to prevent those circumstances from occurring.
Fear can direct you to a safer path through change than you might take if you did not heed its cautionary call.
Use the power of patience to summon your ability to attend to planning and the details of implementation.
Use it, also, to increase the confidence and focus of those around you who aren’t seeing the change process as charitably as you are, at the moment. (You may need them to return the favor later).
Impatience is going to be there at some points in the change process, so when it is, use it.
The power of impatience can help you delegate or sweep away low priority tasks, so you can focus on what is most essential.
Impatience carries a lot of power…which can be destructive if turned on yourself or the people around you. Just as powerfully, used positively, it can propel you forward, often rapidly.
Discouragement often means that plans were too aggressive, or that not enough time was factored in for periodically recharging, regathering energy, and renewing focus.
Or maybe plans for the change process assumed that everything would go perfectly…and that’s not happening (frankly, things usually don’t go “like clockwork.” There’s going to be at least one surprise somewhere in the process).
Use discouragement to pause and step away for a bit, if you can. Refresh, renew, even if briefly.
Then remind yourself why the change is being made, and how you may benefit from it in some way.
This can occur if the purpose or path through change is obscured, or was never spelled out well in the first place.
Sometimes uncertainty can’t be completely cleared away, of course…it’s just part of the change process…yet there are things that can be done to reduce it.
Focus on the goal, set interim milestones and concentrate on reaching each one. And celebrate in some appropriate way when you do.
The desire to bargain (and before that, maybe, the desire to emote or complain) can occur if you feel you’re not being heard.
It can also occur if you’re concerned that plans are not realistic, or the resources needed for change are not being provided.
Express openly, honestly – and respectfully – what your fears and concerns are. Listen with an open mind. Negotiate or renegotiate agreements, if need be, and if possible.
– The desire to give up
Don’t fight it. This feeling may occur at some point, and maybe at multiple points, in the change process.
Just knowing that quitting is an option can take the pressure off. Usually, though, you realize that you’ve come too far, made more progress than you realized, and really don’t want to turn back, after all.
The uncertainty and energy required for change will clear eventually.
You may even find you’re bored when certainty does return, believe it or not. There’s a lot to be said for the growth that occurs for almost everyone during a change process, whether sought, or forced by circumstances on you.
– The drive to keep going, no matter what
Use this drive to push over, around, or through barriers that appear as if they could prevent you from reaching your goal.
And use this powerful energy, if need be, to prove that it’s possible to do what naysayers said couldn’t be done.
This short list has covered just a few of the emotions that are likely to occur at some point during the change process.
Did I cover the emotions you experience most during change?
If not, add to, or adapt this list.
Notice, also, the ways in which you already use emotions well to help you move forward.
Consider how you can use each emotion – whether it’s one you like experiencing or not – when it arises during the change process.
Just by anticipating what may occur as you go through the ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures that accompany change helps you to prepare for, and to make the best of it.
Harness the energy of change to help you move forward.
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