Mind Your Change: Strategies for Handling Transitions in Life

Change is inevitable and it’s also constant. It’s also one of the biggest stressors we have in life, says Heidi Heron, Psy.D., a Neuro-Linguistic Programming International Trainer and Master Practitioner. How you make your way forward through managing change might require a shift in your unconscious programming, those filters that assist you as you manage transitions in life, grow through adversity and even embrace change effectively. By having the tools to align behaviors, capabilities, values and beliefs to identify the ever-changing landscape of life, you’ll be more equipped for the future.

YPO’s Leadership Development, Spouse/Partner Community and Women’s Business Networks held a global conference call with Heron where she shared several strategies to help you manage change and utilize your mind to create the ideal outcome for you:

Know where you are going, even if it’s just somewhere new

To be open to change and its possibilities, you must first acknowledge that things are changing. Heron explains that your unconscious mind will automatically react as it has in the past, yielding the same old results. However, when you feel a sense of incongruence, that something needs to be done differently, it’s important to recognize that you are in a moment of change, you are heading somewhere new and your normal reactions are no longer effective. Trying something new — a new way of thinking, behaving or looking at something — will help prevent you from getting stuck.

The past does not equal the future

One change can create a snowball effect, triggering change in your environment, behavior, capabilities, beliefs and values, identity and purpose. A new environment may require different behaviors, which can only be successfully changed by developing new competencies. And change eventually impacts your values, self-perception and goals. Which is why what worked for you in the past may not necessarily work in the future. By adopting a growth and success strategy mindset, change will become an inevitable and exciting part of life. With a growth mindset, you will begin to see opportunity in the midst of all the change. “When you recognize that there is potential within whatever change is happening, then anything becomes possible,” Heron says.

Keep the big picture in mind without getting stuck in details

People can get either overwhelmed by the big picture (where you are going) or bogged down in the details (how you get there). Either can make it difficult to move forward. When you’re not sure precisely where you’re going, start, for example, by taking just three small action steps. This will help prevent paralysis by the unknown destination or analysis of the details.

Be aware of sameness thinking

If you’re looking for things to remain the same, first recognize that things need to be different and that difference is going to make you uncomfortable. Start to identify things that are the same amid all the difference, so your unconscious mind can start to align with what is the same. Knowing that something — but not everything — is going to be different and that it’s okay not to know what the end is going to be will help you become more flexible and embrace the things that are changing.

Have an external outlet to get out of your mind

People who handle change well tend to have an external source to process information. They have someone to communicate with and bounce ideas off or use pen and paper to get their thoughts out. “Like most things, out is better than in,” says Heron. It is easy to get stuck in the details and rumination in your own internal process. You will begin to visualize many more possibilities when you externalize your thoughts.

Create action to move forward

When you can get out of your own head, you can become more active and begin to evolve. Once you realize things are about to change and establish two or three action steps, you are able to set goals and move forward. “Being actively involved in your change is the most important aspect of managing the change,” says Heron.

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