When was the last time you saw a public phone booth? Or had a passenger in your car elbow you as they struggle with a giant paper map? Remember the anticipation of turning in a camera roll to be developed so you can finally see how those pictures turned out? Behaviours that were once ubiquitous and necessary have become oddities in the smartphone era and few of us would willingly take a step backward to them.
We live in a complex world where nothing seems to stay constant for long and for many people, their first reaction is to resist this change. But it will happen and often for the best, so it’s important to learn to embrace change and grow with it. Here are some of the best tips and guidance for thriving in a changing world from the staff here at Do Process.
- Expect to be uncomfortable at first.
Change isn’t easy and it’s certainly not comfortable but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. When you’re faced with adopting new behaviours or learning something new, you’re not going to be immediately great at it and that’s fine. You’ll always learn more by taking on a challenge than just drifting through a task you know you excel at.
- Take breaks.
Have you ever been stuck on a problem for hours, unable to move forward but when you come back to it later, you see an obvious solution you can’t believe you missed? Learning a new skill takes effort and when you try to do everything at once, you can harm your own progress. Take regular breaks and get moving, go outside for some fresh air or just shift to something quiet you enjoy before diving back in. This will give you a chance to come back to it fresh and with a new perspective on what you’re learning without burning out.
- Be kind to yourself.
This is important enough to say twice: don’t expect to be great at something new immediately. Be patient with your own learning speed. Attitude makes a big difference on how we learn and when we get down on ourselves, it only makes adapting to change that much harder. Acknowledge that you might be struggling now, but you’re going to get better and soon it will become second nature.
- Use technology to your advantage.
Don’t be afraid of new technology, embrace it! Technology is just a tool and as our world evolves, it’s constantly being used to improve our lives. When you’re introduced to new technology, think of it in terms of how it will help you live your life as opposed to what its main features are. You’ll have more motivation to learn how to use it and you’ll be better able to adapt it into your daily life. Or you can approach it from the opposite angle: think about what parts of your life could use improving and find a technology to help you do it whether it’s managing your work documents more efficiently or keeping track of your favourite recipes.
- Stay healthy.
Change is stressful and we all know stress can be bad for your health. Be proactive to make sure you’re looking after yourself while embracing those new changes. Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you’re focused on adapting to something new in your life but taking care of yourself will help you feel better even when you’re strained.
- Share the experience.
One of the biggest demoralizers is feeling like you’re the only one struggling when everyone else seems to be adapting so easily. That’s never the case: reach out and find a community that is facing the same challenges you are. As a group you can motivate each other and share tips. If the change is in your workplace, you have a ready-made community with your coworkers but you can often find such communities online with a simple search or browsing through social media groups. There are groups online helping each other with everything from using the newest technologies to adjusting to having your kids go to school for the first time. Build a support network that helps you when you’re feeling overwhelmed and then do the same for others once you’ve mastered change.
The next time you see a big change headed your way, don’t get nervous. Take a breath, reflect on our advice and get ready to jump in with both feet. Adapting to change is an important skill, learn to embrace it and you’ll be well set up for success in anything you attempt.