How do I: deal with change

Change is a constant. Understand how any change may affect you, your situation, those around you and what you could do about it if it matters.

Fear

What exactly are you fearing? Write it down.

Stop fearing change and adapt by being flexible and positive. Don’t dwell in it. Do your research from multiple sources. Do the work to understand what is within your control vs. what is not in your control.

Stop worrying about what might happen. Understand your options if/when something does happen. Be prepared. It is not about blame, but action to get to the root cause of what can be done in the short term (hours, days, weeks) and long term (months, years).

Failure

Stop fearing failure. It is just a word. It is a label. Failure is not a person regardless of how many times it occurs to them. All successes started with piles of failure whether it was ours or not. There is a lot failure out there however most don’t talk about it because worry about image, ego and perception around that.  Failure is a learning opportunity once we remove all of the emotion from it.  What is the root cause of the failure?  Where did you learn from it?

I often reframe failure by using the word challenge which many people are willing to share their own and challenges they have seen all too often. Among my podcasts, the most popular

Understand your calculated risks and rewards with a budget, schedules, levels of efforts, people, tools, tactics, strategies, and specifications on the expected outcome vs what actually happens. Understand which are sunk costs like time spent. We will not get those hours spent back into our lives to spend them again. Find the efficiencies, effectiveness, and usefulness of what each person is doing as well as what isn’t working as well so it can be improved at least incrementally.

Reverse engineer it from multiple angles. The product lifecycle, the consumer/user experience, the people working on it based each of their roles?**

What is it for everyone involved? What is it for you after the consumer gets something of value to them?

Emotion

Understand what you have control over and what you can not control.

Remove the emotion from many changes.

Empathy

If you are involved in a change, how can people understand what you are going through and what they will through? Empathy starts with an interest and a conversation.

Can you empathize with those involved? Do you care? Why or why not?

You will find some selfish people who not self-aware enough to exercise any empathy.

You can try to understand the pros and cons for those involved. If it does not involve you nor anyone around you, why exactly do you care? Do you need extra noise in your life nowadays?

Do you need to understand what they are going through and why? Is it a self-imposed matter? Is a matter around their locus of control? Do you and your actions determine your own future?

You do not have control over other people and their actions, however, you do control your reaction to them (emotions/actions) and you are very much in control of your contribution in any form at any point in time.

This often involves a few conversations. Start by asking some questions to those involved and listen carefully to their responses. Ask clarifying questions to get to the root cause.

Learning

Keep learning. Learning does not start nor stop with school. It starts at home.

School learning is prescribed to get a grade, regurgitate information for a test, prepare you for an outdated factory-style work environment and you might escape by learning how to apply said learnings to something in the future. Much of what you cover in school will not apply to any part of your life. Outside of any school, learning should only continue.

Learning should be a life long activity.

Learning should involve failure. Remove the school grade, the stigma of failure, the fear surrounding it, the social pressure, the blame game, the finger-pointing and put most of that emotional garbage in the trash where it belongs. Once you do that.  learn why the failure occurred by focusing on fixing the root cause. Welcome to learning new things that might not be on any test, assessment nor book.

Learning often involves doing some kind of action. Ask questions, listen, read, watch, record, move, smell, touch and/or do the work.

It could be learning:

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Personally
  • Professionally
  • Skills

Does it matter as long as you learn something new?

What did you learn today by failing at it? Are you self-aware enough to bypass the emotion and focus on the learning? Or are you stuck on just feeling bad about it? Time to get over yourself, your feelings, and move forward with learning something about yourself and how to not fail that way again.

Trial and play

Rather than doing a big project all at once if it has not done before by anyone there, try a small pilot project. Invest in a couple weeks of trial and play. Yes, there will be a bunch trial and error in the process. Every time an error occurs, understand why it occurred and how to fix the root cause of that error. Do not dwell on errors and start blaming and finger pointing. Take ownership of the issue and fix it with the help that you need. Errors will happen. Accept it and play with them until those errors get resolved by playing with others.

Do not assume you can do it all by yourself within a short period of time. Sprints can help move past big challenges much faster than you assume you can by gathering multiple people each with different perspectives around the same challenge.

Document everything including the errors and potential fixes and every iteration of change. Build an MVP.

Create a prototype and then build a better one based on feedback outside of those who created it by those who will actually buy it and use it. Repeat. This is how you improve something and find your audience so it can grow.

Control

Understand what you have control over and what you do not have control over.

Is it a matter of understanding your own locus of control?

Be aware and informed about what you can and can not control before either one really matters. Be prepared.

Your future is in your hands? Is it determined by your own actions?

Priorities

Is it Netflix and Chill? Or investing in yourself by learning something you can use?

Is wealth over health or health over wealth? If you don’t have your health, who can you help?

Is it building or selling?

Is it spending or earning? Whose money is it? How is it earned?

Action or comfort?

What is your priority?

Progress

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is how you achieve progress.

Remain curious. Ask questions.

The best investment is investing in yourself by learning, removing the fear of the unknown, and preparing in advance to deal with known fears and upcoming changes.

 

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