Updated: Mar 9, 2020
It's not uncommon to worry about the ramifications of change. Whether it comes from our own decisions or forces beyond our control, change in our personal and professional lives can be intimidating, but it's often necessary to keep growing and evolving.
Instead of fearing change, many coaching professionals recommend embracing it and viewing it as a positive force in your life. To help you do this, we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council how someone can work toward embracing change. Based on their responses, here are some of the most effective strategies to try.
1. Prepare For It
If you know change is necessary for your growth, prepare for it! Start small by implementing changes that are not too uncomfortable, like drinking more water versus joining a HIIT class or reading daily before registering for college courses. Ease your way into change, making it more manageable when big changes come. Once you see all the good from the changes, you'll be ready for more! - Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Mastermind Coaching
2. Determine The Value
This might sound simple, but to make change, we have to determine the value of the change. We're human and being human means we don't do things simply for the sake of doing them, we need purpose, value or benefit out of our actions. We'll undertake great changes that we're excited about, such as getting married, moving or going to college, but some changes require reflection before action. - Dr. Teresa Ray, PCC, Dr. Teresa Ray
3. Keep Your Skills Current
In order to grow, embracing change is not optional. To adapt successfully, a good strategy is to be aware of your situation by regularly asking yourself questions such as what is your mission, purpose and what obstacles stand in your way—this will help you understand change and help you to build skills. Keeping your skills current is an effective strategy to add to your value and growth. - Elizabeth Ruiz, EAR Enterprises
4. Think About The Possibilities
Change is a necessary step in the growth process, and embracing change is all about having the right mindset. Being curious and committing yourself to see the advantages and learning opportunities in a given situation rather than the roadblocks and hurdles will enable you to gain needed perspective and orient yourself toward positive and deliberate action. - Dennis Volpe, LRI
5. Always Run Toward Only What You Want
Change can be scary and let's face it: Change is a permanent state today. Want to succeed gracefully when change occurs? Try this: Match your highest values and talents to the desired change. If they show up in what you are looking to do, run hard toward that change. If they do not show up at all, then pick a different way to get where you want to go. - John Hittler, Evoking Genius
6. Allow Change To Reveal Your Strengths
Change requires us to respond to new information, situations and environments. It tests our ability to succeed while adapting in new and creative ways and measures our resilience and personal agency. Recognizing change as a revolutionary agent of exposure and leadership capacity allows us to fear it less and accept it as a partner in building a more fulfilling and authentic life. - Joynicole Martinez, The Alchemist Agency
7. Redefine Change To Be Your 'Nirvana'
Redefining change as an opportunity to realize your dream outcome is a valuable mindset to adopt. Who wouldn't jump at the chance to make a positive impact on their own terms? By visualizing your "nirvana" end result and working toward achieving it, you will more likely stay motivated to see the results of the strategies you implement because they are aligned with your passions. - Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership
8. Don't View Relapses As Failure
People expect changes will go upward. They anticipate blocks, but if they return to old ways of behavior, they think it is over and stop completely. A person might have some or many small lapses or relapses. The secret of change is to know that, stand up, dust yourself off and come back to the desired behavior. The key to success is to not let these setbacks undermine your self-confidence. - Inga Bielińska, Inga Arianna Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring
9. Be Consistent In Your Actions And Motivation
Irrelevant from the purpose of the change, consistency in actions matter. Wanting to achieve change will inherently require consistent actions, which in turn is also one of the main reasons why desired results can't be achieved without it. It requires a mechanism that results in consistent actions that are greatly influenced by consistent motivation. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
10. Don't Just Embrace Change; Drive It
People have bemoaned change and the pace by which things change for millennia. With technological advances creating tectonic shifts in all aspects of life and with knowledge doubling occurring on average every 13 months, there is no time to "work to embrace" change. Today, change produces either growth or decline. The future is being created now and change catalysts have the edge. - Joseph Michelli, The Michelli Experience
11. Get An Accountability Partner
Scared by change? Others are too. And they want to help you and themselves change. Make them your accountability partner. Research shows that the more you follow up with your accountability partner, the more change you will achieve. I check in with my accountability partner, Paul, every week. We let go of what didn't serve us well the past week, celebrate wins and give advice for the week ahead. - Louis Carter, Best Practice Institute
12. Create An Achievable Roadmap To Change
Everything happens in measured time. We must create an achievable roadmap. The most effective way to achieve this outcome is a timeline and a strategy. Every chunk of time must be prepared for. Once you have created your timeline, you can prepare! Developing an action plan along with understanding how the change may be maintained creates effective habits. Predictability will bring calm and peace. - Stephynie Malik, Stephynie Malik, SMALIK Enterprises
13. Reduce The Ambiguity
Change is scary because it creates ambiguity. When we aren't sure what's on the other side, our brains take us to survival mode. When possible, seek answers or clarity on the change, and when they aren't known, take time to imagine all of the possibilities. When you can see a variety of ways forward, the ambiguity is calmed and we can lean in to grow from the change. - Christine Pouliot, Evocent Leadership Development
14. Make Change An Adventure
Our words and perceptions matter and impact our behavior and actions. Reframing the way we think about change is very valuable in whether we worry about it or we embrace it. Stop thinking about change as the big bad wolf—"scary," "uncertain" and "negative”—and start thinking about change as an adventure and a fun experience where we will learn and grow and have fun in the process. - Shefali Raina, Alpha Lane Partners
To read my full Forbes.com bio click here.