Let me start today by saying I am sorry if I ever made your situation seem easy to think through. Or managing your anxiety a simple decision. Or getting over that sticky behavior as a logical decision to change…

I am nearly over the finish line on selling my home of 21 years and I’ve been about as nutty as I can ever remember. You wouldn’t have seen it, but my anxiety has been tough to manage. What could be difficult was, and everything else too.

I’m fine, don’t worry about me.

The reason I am talking about this it that my experience made me think of how many changes you deal with every year. Changes you don’t want, aren’t in control of, along with the ones you do.

Change Can Feel Chaotic

And, when we are immersed in change…

  1. There is so much extra work, all the regular work has to get done, and few to no extra bodies.
  2. There are so many decisions, and easy ones can be hard.
  3. Everything can seem much more complex than necessary.
  4. New challenges and opportunities are full of uncertainty.

And, letting go of a way of living (or work) is a largely unrecognized stressor. Especially for people who are very competent.

Some Anxiety is Un-Coachable

In my case, I want the change; I’ve long waited to downsize from my big complicated house. I knew it would be a lot of work and full of challenge. In advance I could anticipate all of that. But once immersed I couldn’t seem to coach myself out  of the illogical voice saying “mayday, mayday.”
Of course I know it’s going to be ok.  In fact, the new owners will have a fabulous house, and I will be in a much smaller “nest.” And, you probably know you will work through your big change.

Think of New Chapters Rather Than Running Change

Just when even I was bored by my change process, two people in my life said within a few days of each other…

“You are opening a new chapter in your life, how exciting!”
Why don’t we think of these chapters turning with more acceptance and patience with ourselves? In case you didn’t know where I was going with this, my key messages today are:
  1. I do really appreciate your challenges, your anxiety, your stress.
  2. We often don’t see the inner world of others.
  3. Be patient, kind, and easy with yourself as you maneuver big change or the seemingly rolling change in your organization.
  4. Think of each part of the process as a mini chapter in your work life. Start the chapter with interest. Look ahead to see how many pages are left. Turn the last page with finality.

And, even if you can’t enjoy the process (I did not), enjoy the results.