Change

Girl swinging high on a swing

Learn how to manage change

Keep the momentum going. Now you’ve decided to make changes, keep it up!

This is when you need all the grit and determination you possess. It’s easy to leap into action, but not so easy to keep going. Give yourself a fighting chance and coach yourself through tough times.

Read all Manage change articles here or if you’re right at the beginning of your journey of change, have a quick look at this summary of topics on Achieve Self-Mastery.

Reframe problems as challenges

Don’t let “problems” discourage or slow you down. Instead, use them as chances to exercise creativity to find solutions. Trust yourself to pick the most useful options to manage change.

You may not always be able to do what you planned. But often you’ll find another way that is actually better.

Being flexible helps you sidestep difficult people and problems. Rolling with what life throws at you is even more important these days, when nothing stays the same for long.

Don’t trust false worry messages

Your brain may send you alarming messages about the future. It’s trying to make you give up your journey of change.

Recognise these worries for what they are – scaremongering. Most worry messages your brain sends you are false. They make you think your goals involve terrible risks, even if that’s wrong.

To manage change, learn to see these messages for the nonsense they are. For example, you may want to learn a language. But your brain tells you that you’ll look stupid and everyone will laugh at you.

But do you think that really will happen? Or is it possible most others in the class will be just as nervous? If so, they won’t even notice what you’re doing.

Relax and enjoy the process

And anyway, who says you have to learn the language perfectly? Can’t you just learn it well enough, and have fun while you do it?

So remind yourself of the benefits of changing. Focus on what you need to do to manage the process of change. Refuse to focus on these puffed-up worries.

And anyway, you can still take action even though you’re scared. Tell your brain to lighten up and take a break.

If you give in to fear, you’ll sit watching TV for the rest of your life. What would be worse: making modest progress, or doing nothing at all and regretting it forever?

Mastering change

The more you take action and do what you need to do, the easier it is to change. So master the process of change. This is what you need to do to achieve success in making changes in your life. All of these steps will be explained in various articles.

Record your vision on paper in a “change journal”.
Set clear goals and write them down.
Take small steps.
Record and reward yourself for each small gain.
Repeat each step till it’s mastered.
Deliberately practise to overcome problems.
Give your brain time to take in new information.
Be patient with times when it feels you’re not progressing.
Resolve to stop emotional self-sabotage and ban self-criticism and worry.
Stick to your plans instead, and take the tough decisions.
See yourself as someone who works around disappointments or difficulties.
Never let anything crush your purpose.
Be determined to be determined.
Persist even when you don’t feel like persisting.
Stay away from people and situations that tempt you to stop changing.
Be strong: withstand pressure from others to give in and be like them.
Have the strength to hold your vision up centre front when you’re flagging.
Know what you want and why you want it.
And face life with grit, patience and gratitude.

Small steps, big rewards over time

If doesn’t matter if you make tiny changes, one at a time. No matter how small the changes are, you’ll still benefit. And it doesn’t matter what you want to change. The process is much the same, no matter what.

Start on one area, and see a little progress. Keep going, and see the gains produced by tiny steps repeated over and over. Your success will start to spill over into other areas after a while.

Over time, you can start work on one or two other goals as well. Once you start, it becomes a life-long process. You’ll see how slow steady progress can achieve huge gains over time.

Of course, sometimes the process may stall completely. But never give up. You may need to rethink your strategy if you’re really having trouble. It’s possible you may even need to work out if the goal is really something you want to continue to strive for.

Keep your change journal handy and add to it when you can. Use it to inspire you through the dark times.

Look back at what you’ve achieved, and plan for your next effort. And be proud that you’re learning to manage change.
You’re working to achieve mastery over yourself and your environment.

Read all Manage Change articles here