How to Treat Change as Your Friend

Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it.
Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it. (Lightstock)

I started the day like most others, but today, I was more focused with my regimen. I recently read The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod, and had started a new routine in the morning to allow my day to be much more productive.

I started with my early morning "God" time, moved to my affirmations, transferred smoothly into "visualizations," did some quick "exercise," a little "reading," and finished up with my "scribing." I was ready for the day!

I knew everything would move along perfectly today, since I had followed my plan from the night before for a perfect next day. Granted, I know better than to think a day is going to be perfect, but I was still hopeful for a great day.

Then ... when I opened my emails ... my plan was changed. I don't mean just a little, either. I mean all priorities were to be shifted as the president of one of the banks I consult made some significant changes to our previously determined priorities and had communicated completely different timelines.

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These kinds of "unexpected changes" have a tendency to send me (as well as my entire day) into a tailspin. Typically, when a significant change in my day is demanded, I can feel anxiety rushing over me. I immediately decide that I am incredibly busy, that I cannot meet with previous appointments as I have to re-determine my daily plans, and so on. This has been my typical response to change.

Today, I stopped myself. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath—in fact, a few breaths. This slowed the stress hormones and increased the production of endorphins allowing me to make a better decision. This helped me move through the changes in my day much better.

I re-looked at my day and the activities, adjusted only a couple of items and then moved on. No overreaction this time, which has been typical in my past. Instead, a more steady approach resulted in what became a much better day.

The art of recognizing the "effect" of a major change in your day, the ability to alter the resulting stress and actually channel it to your benefit, will not occur overnight. With some practice, however—especially when you recognize the little changes that occur that seem to throw your day off—you will improve and ultimately learn to treat "change" as your friend and use it as a fueling resource for the rest of your day.

Jeffrey Smith, a business consultant, is a national speaker and writes on the topic of leadership. His experience as president and CEO of a publicly traded financial company has given him a strong foundation from which to share. 

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