How to Thrive with ChangeBy: Susan Dunn
There’s nothing more disconcerting, nothing you can count on more, and nothing more valuable to learn how to prepare for than change.
I’m not talking about preparing for each individual change as it comes up. This is an inefficient and reactive way to operate.
I mean preparing your self proactively for the inevitable changes you will encounter throughout your lifetime so that you remain prepared as part of who you are. This is about emotional intelligence, or competency, and this is how you do it.
Just when you think everything’s settled, and the way it’s going to be, along comes a change.
Some of these changes will be good – you get a promotion out-of-the-blue, or suddenly find out you’re pregnant after trying for some time, or the dream house you’ve been looking for comes on the market long before you expected it to or were prepared to move.
Some of these changes will be difficult – a transfer you didn’t want, getting laid off, empty nest, or losing a lover, partner or loved one.
Whether anticipated or not, whether wanted or not, things change, and how we deal with this is a sign of our emotional intelligence (EQ), or competency.
The most important thing to deal with will be the emotions. In order to function and move forward, you need to manage your emotions and those of those around you, who will also have been affected. This falls within the wide scope of a certified EQ coach.
The best tool you can have for handling transitions is a high EQ. Tips are tips, but a tool is something you need to get the job done. Why use a kitchen knife when you could be using a power screwdriver?
Resilience, an EQ Competency
One of the EQ competencies, resilience is particularly important. Resilience means being able to bounce back from losses, rejections, and adversities while remaining hopeful.
The worse outcome of an adversity is to become bitter and cynical. Developing your EQ is a preventative measure, guarding your attitude and ability to enjoy your life in the future. You will learn how to weather storms on an as-needed basis!
Building your EQ means building your ability to keep “stress” from becoming “strain.”
Think of an expansion bridge. It’s built resilient (about to bounce) so when the wind blows, it won’t snap.
If it were rigid, the “stress” might turn into “strain” and it would buckle under the pressure.
See the difference? You want, need, and will always have “stress” in your life, but “strain” can damage you.
Where to Begin?
Last but not least, if you’re going through a major change, prepare to be a stronger person when it’s over – if you have developed your resilience.
“Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals,” said Lou Holtz, American football coach. “I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”
In light of this, you might interview a potential coach to see what major crises and changes they have mastered. The “untested” are only talking theoretically. You’ll hear the difference, and you’ll be living the difference, so it matters.
This personal growth and triumph is the optimal result of going through change, but we all know people who cratered under strain.
Develop your emotional intelligence and your crises can make you stronger, not weaker. Get proactive. Give emotional intelligence a try!
© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2004
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