How to Take Charge of Change

Managing Inevitable Change

Take charge of change to achieve desired outcomes faster. Change is inevitable; an absolute truth that cannot be avoided. The question is whether you will direct the change in your life or it will direct you? You can let the change take you where it wants to; landing you in unexpected and undesired places, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Or you can tell it where to go. You can lead the change; define how you want to handle it and what you want out of it. Is it really that simple?

The Awareness, Acceptance, Action Model

Yes, the choice is simple while the execution takes a little more grit. The Awareness, Acceptance, Action Model (AAAM)  for Change begins with the awareness that something in your life has shifted; become something you didn’t expect or want. That behavior or thinking isn’t working. In fact, it is interfering with your dreams and goals.

The next step is acceptance that this is your current reality; good, bad or ugly. It is acknowledging a gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Then you move into action towards bridging that gap.

Leading Change: Mindset Matters

Mindset determines the success of AAAM. In the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, author Carol Dweck does a phenomenal job differentiating the two major ways we look at the world. We perceive either through a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset. The Growth Mindset believes in possibility; that there are always opportunities to learn and develop new skills. The Fixed Mindset believes that your current capabilities are immovable; stagnant. It’s the difference between “I don’t understand yet” and “I will never understand.” The fabulous news is that you get to choose your mindset. Even if you have a history of believing “never,” this, too, can be changed. 

In order to shift from awareness through to acceptance and into action, you must have a Growth Mindset. You must believe that you can take charge of the change. You can bridge that gap between here and there, wherever you want there to be. Possibility abounds. You are stronger, braver, wiser than you know. Choose this mindset and you are walking the right road. And what road is that?

Framing Change

I am talking about the road to success, satisfaction, and happiness. Sound too Pollyanna? Maybe in summary, but you still need to dig deep. Frame this season of leading change as a training period. You are in training on the road to mastery. You don’t start in the Pro League. A lot of the time it begins with a good ol’ game of T-Ball. 

Start with what you know, what you are capable of and build. Make a plan! Identify the steps to get from here to there, assess the priority, and define the order. Then practice, practice, practice.

Practice Leads to Progress

Train your eye on the ball, swing the bat, run the bases. Consistency is the key. Keep at it. With time, you’ll figure out how to slide into home. You may get a little beat up and bruised along the way. Your physical and mental muscles may ache. These are mere flesh wounds. Pace yourself; tend to your body and mind. Such steps are pivotal to a successful plan. Don’t let them be an afterthought! 

Measuring Change

Similarly, be sure to incorporate checkpoints and rewards for progress. You are working hard; pushing your comfort zone and challenging the status quo. Progress can be incremental and hard to see from a high level. Look closely, measure your movement, check off milestones, and celebrate! Reaffirm your good work, but don’t wait to determine what that reward will be. Plan it! Put that carrot out in front of you; give yourself something to reach and stretch towards. Often when you are making change, the horizon seems so far off in the distance. The milestones and rewards bring in a closer horizon; they reinforce the sense of hope and possibility.

An Outlook on Change

What is the hope? The hope is you will take the time now to reflect on where you are. What change is needed? Or what changes are already underfoot? Where do you need to take charge of change? The possibility lies in your Growth Mindset; the belief that you’ve got this. And I know you do. No matter where you are starting from, a good plan including prioritized steps, consistent practice, milestones, and rewards, will get you where you want to go. Believe it! Choose it! Live it!