How Change Presents Opportunity
During the Holiday Season, a neighboring community of ours has an annual event called the Thanksgiving benefit run, AKA “The Turkey Trot.” I am not overly enthusiastic about jogging, but it was for a great cause, so I entered the 10K race. When a couple of my former friends jokingly suggested I might finish last, it fueled my determination not to be the final Turkey crossing the finish line. You may be surprised to hear that I finished ahead of an athletic looking young man in his 20’s. He was in a golf cart picking up the orange cones, but I still crossed the finish line before he did.
The advice I received from several accomplished long-distance runners did not improve my speed but did provide insight on managing change. They tell me that when running a race, the way in which someone navigates the hills often determines the winner. This is because the uphill portion is when the competitors are truly tested, and the athletes who are fully prepared often take the lead. In other words, when a competitor encounters the challenge of changing terrain, an opportunity presents itself.
Isn’t this true in all areas of your life? We will all face changes, some will resemble hills and others mountains. Some of those changes we can forecast by relying on what we know today. However, there will always be the unpredictable unknowns of the future. So, how do we positively respond to the expected change?
When you expect change, you can accept change.
When you begin to accept change as normal, constant and unavoidable, you will begin to develop a positive mindset. This attitude gives you the ability to handle change more efficiently with less stress. Most of us react negatively to change that catches us by surprise. If we anticipate and embrace change, we will be better prepared mentally, and emotionally, when it occurs.
Change is inevitable; therefore opportunity is possible. Take advantage of the opportunity that change brings. Look at the change you are facing as an opportunity instead of a risk. Uncertainties generate challenges, but they also represent an opportunity. When you focus on the perceived obstacles of the change you are experiencing, it limits your ability to see the choices you have and the opportunities around you.
Separate the actual risk of change, from the overstated or imaginary perils. Doing this will give you a more realistic perspective of your changing circumstances. You will avoid catastrophic thinking, and eliminate exaggerating potential problems. We often overestimate the threats of change and underestimate the potential benefits.
In 2016 we will surely face new changes. However, with a new perspective, we can seize new opportunities!
I wish you much success and endless opportunities this year!