Life changes every day. Sometimes we’re bystanders watching the world unfold around us as we go along for the ride. That can be frightening. It’s the reason Disney World’s Space Mountain amps up the thrills: you can’t see the dips and turns coming. You can’t prepare and you certainly can’t steer. Sound familiar? It’s time to slip into the driver’s seat of change and take control of steering your future. These 4 tips will help you embrace change and steer yourself through the curves.
Go in with your eyes open
One of the biggest mistakes we make is grabbing hold of an idea and charging ahead full steam while we believe momentum is on our side. Successful change, however, can be a slow-moving process. More importantly, successful change takes planning. You’ve got a seedling of an idea. That’s fantastic. But before you plant that seed, do your due diligence. What’s it going to take to make this thing sprout and grow?
Unless you can’t
Change can sometimes be thrust upon us. For example, an unexpected restructuring in the office that leaves us without a position or in a new role than we’re not used to holding. Maybe you didn’t have the luxury of planning in the run up to this change, but you certainly can take a deep breath and plan your next steps. Proactive is always better than reactive.
Set reasonable expectations
When we’re steering the change with our sights set upon our dreams, we can paint a fantastic picture for ourselves. It’s important to set goals that inspire us. It’s also important to embrace realism. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” That quote might not be the best one to pin your dreams on, however. Being adaptable is certainly a valuable trait. In fact, success can be built off failure
. However, heading into the process with realistic goals is an important component to achieving them. Challenging yourself to stretch is a fantastic plan, if the bar you’ve set for yourself is in a stretchable reach.
Let fear invigorate you
Change can be uncomfortable. Our discomfort might spark fear and self-doubt. Step out into the change anyway. Accept the challenge fear is offering up. And above all, know this: It’s okay to fail. That’s what we’re afraid of, right? “What if this doesn’t work? What if I step out into this new world and I stumble? What if…” Here’s the truth: You might. You might stumble. You might fail. You might find yourself back at square one. In the process, however, you’ve learned something. You’ve learned more about yourself. You’ve learned about the process. You’ve learned enough to step back, regroup, plan again and try again (or try something new.) That’s not failure, is it? That’s a learning process and in the long run, you’re better for it.