Struggle with Change? Try 4 Simple Ways to Make Change Easy

(or at least easier)

Change is constant. Yet, many of us struggle to adapt to change. Some ignore the signs that change is necessary. Others delay action and hope they’ll be better positioned to make a decision with more time. And some utterly resist change with all their might!

But what if you could apply simple strategies to make change a little easier? With a slight tweak to your outlook, these four strategies can make change less stressful and more productive.

Practice Strategic Tunnel Vision

When my mind is cluttered with what-ifs, I practice strategic tunnel vision. It focuses my attention on the most important task long enough to build momentum and see progress.

For instance, when putting to together my limiting beliefs cheat sheet , I found myself battling with how to make it useful but concise. The ideas were flowing! Because mindset is a process with many entry and exit points, I was trying to address them all. And that’s the opposite of a cheat sheet! I was writing the limiting beliefs handbook, instead of the cheat sheet.

Instead of continuing to compile resources and examples, I applied strategic tunnel vision. It’s the art of focusing on one aspect of the larger project and applying blinders to EVERYTHING else. It defies all notions of multitasking and requires you to focus on one essential task at a time.

For me, that meant limiting my limiting beliefs cheat sheet to four strategies and four solutions. In restricting my options, I used the materials I had gathered and ceased researching other strategies. By practicing strategic tunnel vision, I developed the four strategies and created a concise, but powerful cheat sheet, instead of a 100-page handbook!

If you’re ready for a career change, but feel overwhelmed by the options, consider applying strategic tunnel vision to your search. Spend one day searching LinkedIn for new jobs. Then spend another day sending emails to your network. Start small, gain traction, then add more job search tasks to your plate once you’ve established a clear direction.

When Faced with change – Eliminate Hesitation and Act

Many clients have told me they don’t feel confident applying for jobs if they don’t meet every requirement in the job ad.

I say that’s RUBISH!

If you’re stuck in hesitation mode, you’re not acting. Without action, you’re not getting a new job, making more money, or doing more meaningful work.

Here’s the thing – it’s your brain’s job to talk you out of doing things that are risky or unfamiliar. There’s a pre-historic switch that causes you to rationalize reasons not to do things. But if you act, instead of hesitating, you deny your brain the ability to talk you out of acting.

Next time you’re faced with change and forced to choose, apply Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule – count backward from five and then act! Not sure you’re qualified for the job? Count backward 5-4-3-2-1 then press send! Worried your request for a networking meeting will be answered with crickets? Don’t hesitate, act!

Fear is natural. But sometimes you need a little push to move outside your comfort zone and try something new. Change feels scary because it’s risky and unknown. But acting, instead of hesitating validates or refutes your assumptions. Either way, you know where you stand. That’s directly connected to the third strategy.

Let go of the outcome. Be curious.

When you act, you know the outcome. About trying new things and the possibility of failure, Marie Forleo says,

I win or I learn – but I don’t lose!

What if you couldn’t lose?

By letting go of the outcome and being curious, you neutralize failure and fear.

One of my clients shared two very different job ads with me and asked what I thought her chances were of getting the job if she decided to apply. Her skills were a good match and each job connected to work she cared deeply about. Neither would replace her current income completely, but we talked about ways she could generate additional income to mitigate the difference.

When we started working together, her chief goal was to find a career with more meaningful work. She wanted a job that furthered her ideals and used her superpowers. She was staring at not one, but two opportunities to do just that, and she wasn’t sure she should apply. Because what if she got the job and needed to come up with additional income? Or left her current energy-sapping job, only to find that the grass wasn’t greener.

I explained that she had to let go of the outcome. Instead, she needed to be curious about what comes next. This was an opportunity to work at her dream job. The risk of applying seemed so minimal. After all, she might not get the offer. So what’s to lose by applying?

Curiosity means being open to new experiences, which will require you to let go of fear. Remember you can’t be wrong. Or make a bad decision. There are many routes to success!

Trust Your Gut

Science has found your gut acts as a second brain. In fact, for millennia, the gut was the first brain. It drove decision-making. Now we rely on our pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls emotion and logic to make decisions. And that’s where decision-making gets foggy – the emotional component.

Suppose you’re feeling flummoxed about talking to your boss about leading an upcoming project. Your rational brain says, ‘I don’t know maybe you shouldn’t lead the team. If the project goes side-ways you’ll be blamed. Just be a teammate, it’s less risky.’

But you know, the project is the perfect opportunity to show-off your leadership skills. It’s your chance to show your boss and superiors, you’re more than an individual contributor. Your gut’s saying, ‘You’ve got this! You’re ready!’ But, you’re not sure how to proceed.

Listen to your gut.

Professional growth requires entering the unknown and facing challenges. There will be risk and reward. You can’t avoid the risks and expect rewards. Check in with your gut. It will give you the courage to act.

Fiercely Facing Change

Sure, change can be scary and overwhelming. But these four strategies show that small adjustments in your thinking and actions can have a positive impact. Shying away from change isn’t productive. Instead, try using one or more of these strategies to push your way forward when you feel stuck.