Adapt and Adjust to Manage Change and
By Pat Heydlauff
Are you stuck with the “things will turn around” philosophy? Are you
still trying to live your personal life the same way you did five
years ago or operate your business by pushing products and programs
out onto the marketplace in hopes someone will buy them?
According to Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners, the global
business-advisory firm, “Americans don’t expect their quality of
life or spending levels to return to pre-recession levels until
mid-2013. Obviously, despite some modest movement forward in the
economy, individual Americans remain greatly concerned about their
personal economic situations.” All of these signs indicate there
will be no consumer driven economic recovery in the near future. He
went on to say, “This could translate into a ‘new normal’
environment for businesses of all types that rely upon the American
consumer: lower plateaus of consumer spending for years to come,
maybe for the foreseeable future. Today, it looks like this new
normal is already happening.”
While some things may turn around sooner or later, life and doing
business in our country has changed dramatically in the last few
years and might never be the same. The good news is you can get off
that roller coaster ride. If you adapt your thinking and adjust your
strategies you will be able to manage the change and uncertainty and
will come out ahead of the curve with less stress and more
Think “Different”: What worked before doesn’t work anymore.
If you are a family of one, four or ten, you need to adapt your
thinking, lifestyle and spending habits to accommodate the new
economy. If you are a small one-shop business or a mega-corporation,
you cannot depend on past business strategies, research information
and marketing plans to bring you the same results.
Almost everything has changed - but the things that should not
change are your core values and the principles for the way you live
your life and do business. Those should stay consistent because they
are the very foundation of whom you are and who your company is. It
is this foundation that needs to stay balanced; it is your approach
and your tactics you need to adapt and adjust to manage all of this
change and uncertainty. Use the Feng Shui principle of maintaining
balance to keep you on the right course.
Adopt the “not yet” attitude:
If you need to learn new skills to hold onto your current job or
help an ill family member find out how and where to obtain the
new tools you need to advance during such turbulent times of
change. Do not let your mind tell you “you can’t” or “you don’t
know how.” You may not know how “yet” but you can learn.
Improve your mental outlook:.
Read, read, read – everything inspirational in site and then
find more. Also read biographies of successful people and people
who have overcome great obstacles in their lives. Don’t just sit
there, read and be encouraged.
Improve your personal environment:
Get rid of clutter, stacks of “stuff” and even clothing that no
longer serves you well. When you remove these energy drainers
you create a new flow of positive energy into your life as well
as clean the mental cobwebs out.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition:
Repetition is the mother of all learning. The more you repeat an
action or thought the more likely you are to remember them and
they will become a habit. A habit can be good or bad depending
upon whether it brings you positive or negative energy so be
careful of what you repeat.
Where is your thinking today? Are you constantly repeating mentally,
“I’m never going to make it through this economy,” “where do I turn
for help and encouragement,” or “it’s no use, things just keep
getting worse.” Such negative thoughts turn into the habit of “I
might as well quite, it’s not even worth trying.” Or, are you
repeating mentally, “I found a job and while not ideal I am bringing
in money,” “my husband was in the hospital so ill but today his
walking is 80% better,” or “I feel in control because I have new
skills to meet the future head on.”
Repeat only positive thoughts and actions so you create a habit that
will help you successfully navigate change and uncertainty.
Optimism by Design:
is times like these that you need to find out what you are good at
and then do more of it – not less. Success grows optimism. Build on
what you can control - you can control your life by sticking to your
core values and living within your means. You can also control your
thinking and attitude by not allowing the negativity of the 24 hour
news cycle seep into your soul.
Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. If you focus on your
mistakes during such trying times, you will continue to attract more
mistakes and your optimism will be drained leaving you empty with no
reserves. For example, if you made a decision 20 years ago to get a
divorce and now you realize you should have listened to your
attorney’s suggestion about obtaining rights to your half of the
retirement income, what do you do? Let go of the past in order to
adapt and adjust so you can stay optimistic and create the future
you want. Remember to use the Feng Shui principle of balance by
standing firm on your foundational values to maintain or increase
optimism. The following technique will help you adapt and adjust the
past so you can manage the uncertainty and grow your optimism.
Using a yellow tablet and a pencil, create two columns on the
paper heading the left one Old Ways and the right one Different.
Write everything you can think of quickly in the left column
that no longer works for you or you are questioning whether it
Set the tablet aside for at least an hour to a day. Then see
if anything more needs to be added. Once your list is reasonably
complete review each item individually in the left column.
Determine if that item really is obsolete or if it can be
adapted and adjusted to work differently and effectively in a
changing uncertain world
Eliminate permanently those that cannot be used and move the
others to the right column
Next, using a new sheet of paper as necessary, take each item
in the right column one at a time and create your new
strategy for dealing with the issue. You may come up with a
number of answers giving you options and putting you in control
which automatically makes you more optimistic.
Managing change and uncertainty can be much easier when you adapt
your thinking and adjust to using new methods, strategies and
tactics to manage change and uncertainty; all of which continue to
support your core values leaving you on a solid balanced foundation.
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