Change is often perceived as a very ominous experience. As creatures of habit, anything that pushes us out of our comfort zone will tend to put as on edge and react as if danger is approaching. Many forms of change occur that create organisational turbulence. Examples include: new management and restructures, redundancies, new team responsibilities, and new ways of working. As mentioned by Michael Kerr, these changes may trigger “fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, and fear of the unknown”. These should not be the underlying tones of change, as without change there would be no progress. Improvement and success results from hard work and pushing our boundaries outside of our comfort zones. In ever changing times like this you have to ask yourself, are you up for the challenge? Ready to embrace new changes with positivity and confidence? Read on for our top nine tips. Acknowledge the change Once the change has been established and implemented, it’s important to accept the decision. This includes understanding the reasons behind the change and why it is occurring. You don’t have to agree with it, but acknowledge what’s about to happen and accept what you can’t control. Process the emotions – fear and anxiety Change will usually have advantageous or negative effects on those involved. Work on your mental health and fitness at times of high stress and anxiety. This’ll assist you to be at your strongest and combat any emotions that may deter you to perform at your best. Throughout uncertain times focus on what makes you happiest and reach out to colleagues, family and friends for support. Find the positive There’s always a silver lining, no matter how big or small. Focus on these elements that contribute to the change and think about how you can make the most of this. At the end of the day, you may need to make the best of a bad situation. The only way you can move forward is to look ahead in search of opportunities and not take comfort in the past –something you can’t alter. Break down the process Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the overall change. Focus on the little steps that build to the bigger picture. By the time you know it, these little steps will amount to a giant leap forward. Participate Be part of the process, as this’ll soften the blow and guarantee a more enjoyable experience. You’ll be going with the current and not fighting against it. Adopt excitement and anticipation, and empower yourself to drive change and influence how it happens. Use times of change as an opportunity to reflect and refocus on what’s important to you and where you want to be, then work out how you’ll get there. What did you say? Communication! Talk to the right people and those affected by the change. Talk to those managing the change and any relevant organisational bodies such as your human resources department. This’ll diminish the fear of the unknown that change can bring about. Make sure to ask constructive questions that will assist you to understand the change. You’ll know this when the information you receive provides meaning and clarification to the unknown. Reflect on your contributions and success These include all the successes, skills and attributes you contribute that adds value to your organisation. Now’s the time to work on your strengths and use this change as motivation to excel. Take a step back When going through the middle and the end of change, it’s a good idea to distance yourself from it all for a day or two. Although some events are more impactful than others, it’s important to not be completely consumed by the situation. It’s wise to separate work issues and challenges from our personal lives and find balance. If negative issues arise from change and are causing you regular stress, take time out to focus on yourself and connect with your family and friends for support. Continuing to work for the bigger picture Never neglect the present. Until a new direction has been paved, you still need to give 100% to your current responsibilities and goals. Ultimately, the work you produce is a reflection of yourself and your values. Make it count and show a positive attitude with an impeccable work ethic. No matter what the change brings, you need to ensure you’re proud of who you are and what you do. Change is an inevitable process of evolving, whether it be in our personal lives or in the workplace. Focus on the factors you can manage. This’ll help yourself and those around you to come out of the other side of the tunnel ready for the new adventure that awaits. What’s your best advice for dealing with change? What strategies did you employ to face the future with confidence? Comment below – your experience will no doubt help others in a similar position.