Expecting Change Brings Stability

As a colleague of Nan’s, I often post here when things grab my attention about today’s workplace and sometimes, life. I worked a good part of my career in a company, where we frequently said the “C” in its name stood for change. It was continuous and constant. And, as odd as it may sound, it was something we could count on, came to expect. No day was the same! Perhaps, a few things didn’t change but most things did. While it kept the work new and exciting, it was often frustrating.

Similarly, there are times of the year where we expect change: as seasons begin and end, and holidaWave_crash_(4695245572)ys come and go; life events like births, weddings and deaths and workplace happenings including new jobs, new bosses and job losses. Plus, many more! These are changes we know and during our life we come to expect. But, what about all those other changes – some we choose, others not so much.

There are thousands of writings on this topic: entire books, articles, blogs and effective models dedicated to dealing, coping or embracing change in life, relationships and work. But what about before change happens?

I happened to listen to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR several weeks ago and heard Harvard Psychologist, Ellen Langer say “Expecting Change Brings Stability.” This idea stuck in my head for the next several days and I started asking myself – What would happen if I always expected change? As those thoughts continued to percolate in my mind; I also started thinking of the 3A’s (a popular concept used in many 12 Step Programs) – Awareness, Acceptance and Action.

The 3A’s approach suggests instead of jumping in and ‘acting’ immediately; there are a couple of other ideas to consider first – acceptance and awareness. Following this thinking if we have an awareness things are continuously changing and we develop an attitude of accepting change as a regular part of our lives, then we begin to expect change as a constant. This ultimately leads to our own individual thinking and action for change, a personal change practice, per se. Sounds simple but a lot harder to do than think about. I believe it is worth considering.

January is a month where we expect change as a new year begins. So if you decide to begin expecting change, I would love to hear about your experience.

Happy New Year!