In any time of crisis or disruption, we have the opportunity to start fresh and create a new normal.
This is however much easier said than done. In my experience, I have found that some people are better at adapting to change than others. I have low ‘adaptability’ on the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder. Honestly, it’s actually my worst! So being adaptable and flexible has been something I’ve had to be conscious of and work on continuously. What I have found is being adaptable, at least for me, requires me to know what I need (not what I want) and to be aware of how I’m feeling in the moment. The more stressed I am, the harder it is for me to pivot. So, managing myself, meaning my thoughts and my emotions are crucial to managing change.
In observing how other people handle change and deal with disruption, it’s been interesting to see the polarity. Some people just seem to go with the flow, and they can shift on a dime. Other people resist the nth degree throwing temper tantrums and kicking and screaming like a toddler. Not quite like that, but pretty close. And if the tantrums aren’t enough, add in the pouting and whining of “I don’t want to.” What are they resisting?
The fear of the unknown fuels it. Unfortunately, when we are in a constant state of fear, we lose our creative juices and literally our executive functioning powers of our brain for more adaptive planning. When, in reality, preparation for the next step should be a key strategy in managing the change.
When we resist what is, we miss what could be
So, one primary strategy then is to plan for the future and create your new normal. During a pandemic and social distancing, what will the future hold? I’ve developed a worksheet that has some key questions to reflect on what you’ve learned, what you liked, and what you want to change. Click here for the worksheet. You can consider different categories of social connection, productivity, mindset, and physical activity. If we can take a step back and identify what fuels us, we can make more intentional decisions about our lifestyle. If, however, we complain about everything, disengage with technological advances, and white-knuckle things (that is holding on for dear life by gripping it) hoping things will get back to normal, we will indeed be putting ourselves on a path of disappointment.
Change is inevitable.
So, take some time to consider how to move forward, pivot, and maintain a sense of control over what your preferences are for the future.