It’s The Journey, Not The Change, That Hurts

June 23, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

We face change every day of our lives. Sometimes small enough hardly to notice; other times change that’s so cataclysmic that we will find it hard to cope.

In organisations, change is all too common nowadays. Indeed, where organisations don’t embrace and indeed instigate change, they are unlikely to survive. When change is thrust upon us, we have choices to make how we are going to accommodate it.

Yet, when we analyse what change is all about, it’s not so much the shift from being at Point A to Point Z, the challenge comes from all the points in between, before the status quo of ‘steadiness’ is reached once more.

The tricky bit is the unstable times between the stable times – those where we are in flux and our usual parameters are not there any more.

The transitional face of change is a journey of emotions. Where we just aren’t sure any more for a while, we feel uncomfortable. And having little or no control over what happens makes it all the more stressful and upsetting.

If we were – as in StarTrek – to be beamed from A to Z, it might not be so difficult. To wake up one morning without all Points B to Y to suffer through, so that we simply arrive, would certainly take the sting out of the transition, but that doesn’t happen of course.

The journey through change is our challenge, as it meanders through our days. And whether we are able to appreciate it or not, we do have choices of the experience on the trip we are take.

Where we are able to embrace the change and help it by taking some control, we will find a lifeline in the way we feel. Even if that control is only about whether we decide it’s a metaphorical sunny day that we are going to make a good day, or we decide that we are going to allow suffering to rule the roost, we have a choice.

The journey taken through the transformations that change requires can be tough, yet when we decide that we are going to take each step of the way in our own way, we can make it much less difficult.

As in most things in life, it’s easier to blame the world when things don’t go our way. The truth is we do have some say as we make the journey in most situations.

Whether we decide to take up that as a challenge in itself or let it all be someone else’s assault on us is, ultimately, our choice.

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Filed in: Leadership and Management, Managing Change | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

  1. Yes you are right the journey is part of the overall experience because through those steps we learn by making missteps (failure) as not all steps are successful.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

    • Hi Leanne and thanks for commenting.

      The journey is, as you quite rightly put it, useful for the valuable learning – and experience – you get as you survive it!


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