Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Conclusion, part of Embracing Change.
- If you want to learn to adapt and adjust course when difficult change hits, you can. Just remember these three simple ideas. First, start right now, before change hits, becoming a person with more than one identity. Be a professional, but also be more. A father, a husband, a friend, a volunteer, or like Shawn, an expert bass fisherman. Do what it takes with every time management tool you have to invest some of your time building your non-professional identity.
If you have at least three to four real identities that define you, losing one of them temporarily becomes bearable. Next, when change strikes, remember to think before you act. Here's the rule following big, unexpected change. Don't make any big decisions for at least 48 hours. When Shawn was let go, he experienced a very high state of emotional distress. Thinking straight becomes nearly impossible. Don't fight it. Give yourself a small, but reasonable, amount of time to allow these emotions to dissipate.
Don't start seeking counsel, don't start networking, nothing. Wait for the normal you to emerge in a couple days before you start. Then it's time to start dealing with your new normal. After the initial emotions subside, I want you to make a loud and clear commitment to being positive. It starts with you. Admit that every cloud has a silver lining. Admit that you want to learn from this and grow. Remember that the wise choice is to become better, not bitter.
Admit loudly that if you say so, the glass is, in fact, half full. Next, go to at least two to three people who you genuinely respect and care for. Tell them what's happened, and tell them the choice you've made about how to frame the situation. Ask them to check in on you at least once each month for the next several months. Sharing with them will be therapeutic and it will be motivational, since you know they'll expect to see progress when they check up on you. Finally, it's time to take action.
This might mean beginning a new job search, or new responsibilities at work, or learning new tools on the job. Every situation is different. Here's what I want you to do: realize that forming new habits and routines doesn't take that much time. Usually, only 30 days for once a day behaviors, or 30 times for repetitive tasks. Every time you're doing that new thing that makes you uncomfortable, start counting down from 30. Say to yourself, "Okay, 29 more times "and this will feel fairly normal." Then keep moving, and soon enough it will be normal.
We all experience bumps in the road, curveballs we never saw coming. Your goal isn't to try and avoid them. You can't. What makes some people successful, people like Shawn, is how they choose to deal with adversity when it shows up. So remember, perspective is everything.