"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." Maria Robertson
Change: Crisis or Opportunity
Sudden change happened in my family recently as my husband suffered an accident resulting in a complex surgery requiring a lengthy physical therapy rehabilitation program. Fortunately, the prognosis is good and at some point we expect our lives to return to "normal."
At the time of this incident a good friend wrote "Life, it feels so routine until it isn't!" What an apt description for how our lives can change drastically in the space of a few seconds.
Indeed, change is a constant in everyone's life. The most challenging changes we face typically occur as a result of a crisis. When change is forced upon us by crisis, it can feel theatening because we may not be in control and we often have limited knowledge of what might lie ahead. This uncertainty can create uncomfortable feelings of confusion, fear or panic. Change can also be particularly difficult
when it means that we must give something up like a cherished hobby, a comforting habit, or a belief-especially about ourselves.
The word "crisis" is derived from the Greek "krisis: and means, literally, "decision." Similarly, crisis is often an opportunity for a time of decision in our lives. However, we often need to experience a period of adaptation to the change before we are open to see opportunity. The adaptation process will be affected by our
pevious experience and personality, as most of us have ingrained, habitual responses to how we perceive and manage change.
However long the process takes, once individuals move through the change process, there arise opportunities to create new visions for the way we want our life to be.
The very nature of change means that what was, is no longer, and what is or what will be, is only limited by imagination or creativity. Areas of our lives that can be open for examination in this visioning process may include purpose, priorities, identity, work, relationships,etc.
The following steps outline a model for confronting and managing change, either personally or professionally:
1. Assess the current situation and the reason for change
2. Clarify or create a new vision
3. Determine the key strategies for achieving the vision
4. Establish the structure required to support the change
5. Develop any required skills necessary to support the process
6. Establish implementation plans including support mechanisms
7. Monitor progress, and reflect.
Success is enhanced when we are able to perceive the crises in our lives, big or small as opportunities for meaning and personal growth and a chance to change direction.
Take good care of yourself,