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Navigating Change Like a Champ


John F. Kennedy

Change is inevitable in life. It can happen unexpectedly or with notice. We can plan a change ourselves, or it can be brought on by someone else in our life, or by events in the world. Even desired changes can be challenging. We may experience discomfort, often anxiety, in the new or unknown. We can learn to accept change and even to embrace it. And therein lies the wisdom to managing change with all its angst.


ACCEPT that change will be uncomfortable. Keep the end in sight, knowing that you have to go through the struggle to become familiar and comfortable with the new.

EXPECT that there will be bumps in the road. Prepare yourself just as you might for literal bumps in the road. The journey will feel smoother for you.

CHOOSE your response to change. Define positive meaning in it, and look for the opportunity to be found in the change at hand.

CONNECT with others experiencing change, your social support group, or professional support. As the saying goes, it may take a village.

TAKE ACTION in small manageable steps towards goals which are adaptive to the change. Doing something about a change you can’t control will give you a sense of competence and movement forward. It will also likely diminish the comfort and anxiety.

REFLECT on your past experiences with negotiating changes and the strengths and skills you gained in that process. Use these like developed muscles to help you through the current change. Allow the knowledge that you have successfully managed other changes, reassure you that you can tolerate the discomfort and meet the challenge.

In general, maintaining healthy habits and taking time to relax and refresh, will better prepare you to handle the curve balls that life can throw. Change will happen. Accepting this will ease your adjustment when it occurs. We may not be able to control all that happens in life, but we do have control of how think about it, how we choose to respond, and creating opportunity in what is before us.

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