If you have a growth mindset, you’re probably already aware of the advantages you have when you embrace change. You have to be if you’re strategic about growth because you need to be agile when you see shifts in your industry that require you to shift your business. But change isn’t easy. It’s downright uncomfortable. You’d think we would get used to change given that it’s basically the one constant through life. But change is hard.

So, how do you embrace change when it’s so uncomfortable?

Recognize when change is needed

Before you can embrace change, you have to see the need for change. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for evolution externally and internally. Changes in your industry or the market can indicate you need to evolve in some way to be able to grow. Think about businesses like Blockbuster and Kodak. They’re both business case studies in how not to approach change. Technology is leading many businesses and people to think differently about how they operate. But if you’re not open to change, it may be too late when you finally see it’s inevitable for your survival.

The same is true for careers. Maybe you’ve gotten to a place where you just need something different or you’re bored with what you do and want new challenges, it involves change. And that can be scary. Listen to the things that call to you. Be open to the possibilities.

Change can be so good

It’s easy to be intimidated by change. You can’t predict how it will go for you, but don’t forget that making the right changes can actually lead you down a better path. It doesn’t mean the discomfort or fear goes away, but it adds a certain excitement and anticipation that makes the reward worth the effort.

Don’t get boxed in by rules and expectations

I’m a rule follower, so I say this to myself as much as anyone else. Rules have their place, but not when they hold you back. (Obviously, I don’t mean laws and ethics here.) Women get hemmed in by the unspoken rules of society and it’s time we break free. Here’s a Ted Talk by Liza Donnelly for some inspiration:

Find the thing that drives you to change, whether it’s humour or a desire to achieve, and go for it! Use it to keep you going and stay positive about the direction you’re headed.

Get help to make the right changes for you

Making changes on your own is gratifying, but it’s hard to maintain. Sometimes you make changes that take you in the wrong direction. One way to avoid getting tangled up in change is to hire a coach to help you identify what the high priorities are and keep you accountable as you work through making changes. Business coaches and life coaches are an investment in your future. They can see things in you that you might not see in yourself.

Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream. ~Debby BooneIf you don’t have time or budget to get a coach, ask a good friend for candid advice and input. Either way, be ready for honest feedback that will help you grow.

Stay on track, but don’t get lost

Have you ever decided to make a certain change that you were so committed to that you pursued it with unwavering focus? I have. But did that change sometimes end up taking you somewhere you felt lost and wrong? Yep, I’ve done that, too. That’s why you need a gut-check every now and then. Change is good when it’s right. Going the wrong direction for the sake of finishing what you started will only hurt you and waste your time. Be honest with yourself when change starts to feel wrong. It’s not the same as being uncomfortable and not wanting change – it’s a gut instinct that what once felt right no longer works.

It’s okay to abandon changes that don’t work.

Embrace change so you can grow

We live in fast-changing times. The way we work and what’s required of us evolves constantly. To be successful, we all have to be willing to embrace change so we can grow our careers and businesses. Be the brave, strong, intelligent woman you are and embrace change even when it’s scary and uncomfortable. You’ll grow as a person and as a professional.

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Be sure to join us for the Breakfast Mix and Mingle at the end of the month for more discussion of how you can embrace change from WBN member, Stayci Keetch. Also, have you signed up for the WBN’s golf tournament? It’s ridiculously fun and there’s a ticket with your name on it – you just have to go claim it. Bring a few friends with you, too!

Karen C. Wilson, WBN President
WBN President, 2016-17
Senior Content Writer & Editor at Saba-Halogen Software