by Angie Harvey
I recall a time when I worked for a healthcare organization; I came in one morning to an email stating that my department was being restructured, and my workspace would be moved. I blew a gasket, had my personal version of a panic attack, and out of spite called off work for the second time in 11 years. Let me be clear they weren’t firing me, not laying me off, not changing my job title, not switching my department or supervisor, but simply asking me to move my work space up two cubicles. Don’t laugh!! In my mind they were disrupting my comfort, removing me from what was familiar, altering my convenient reality, challenging my authority to choose, micromanaging me, and being disrespectful. All of these things I believed were happening just because they were asking me to accept and play nice with change.
Many folks will admit they are afraid of contracting the coronavirus but most won’t mention living in fear of another word that begins with C; CHANGE. Many of us contain this fear in ways no one can clearly see or recognize. Although we don’t like change we don’t want others to know we don’t play nicely with it because that can shine a bright light into our dark places. Our inability to play nicely with change keeps us from personal and professional development, adequate self care, preventative mental wellness, and many other growth opportunities. We weren’t raised to embrace change. In fact, some of us were lead to believe that change was the black sheep of the family. Change was the cousin that would get you in trouble, embarrass you, and make you feel stupid. Change would demand that we do something different, something that makes us uncomfortable, attempt something that no one else had done, or try something no one would understand
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your cousin Change is moving in, not just for the summer but likely for the rest of your life. We can thank Covid 19 for this; the virus along with everything it has taken and will take to effectively cope and thrive is going to require us all to love on change like never before. This will be very difficult for many because not only do we not play nicely with change, but it makes us feel insecure and doubt ourselves. We have a very dysfunctional relationship with change and strongly dislike the implications that it produces. For some the suggestion of change means I am wrong or not enough, something I did was wrong, or at least something is about to go wrong. This thought process leaves many of us emotionally paralyzed, mentally paranoid, personally stuck, and professionally crippled.
Angie Harvey is a Motivational Speaker and the creator of Operation: I.M.P.A.C.T. (Intentionally Motivate People to Acclimate, Change and Transition). Her mission is to increase productivity, improve progression, and achieve positive outcomes with individuals, employers, employees, and students. She would love to hear how she can assist with your Change Management needs.