Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Jan. 24, 2001. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
It’s probably the scariest word in the American vocabulary.
There’s just something about human nature that makes us like to find a comfortable spot and stay there.
When certain animals such as sheep do that, they risk death.
If a sheep rolls onto its back, the sudden shift in gravity, coupled with the sheep’s anatomy, may make it impossible for the sheep to get up. It is “cast down” flailing helplessly on its back.
I think the same thing happens to us emotionally when we find ourselves in a comfortable rut.
We may realize we aren’t being challenged, but we don’t really want to face the discomfort that comes with some kind of change.
Workers in nearly every occupation and profession these days need to learn to cope with change.
Technology and the demands of a busy economy call for new skills and job reassignments all the time.
Facing change is seldom easy, but it may be a divine gift to keep us from becoming cast down like sheep.
Tackling some new roles in my own life, I’ve had to make some major adjustments in my own thinking.
One day, when trying to find a positive way of starting over again in one area of my life, I turned the word “change” into an acrostic and tried to find a principle for each letter. Here’s my own advice to myself.
C — Capture a new attitude. See change as an opportunity to start over again. Instead of viewing change as an interruption in your routine, see it as a new window of opportunity to learn new skills, develop your character and wipe out your former mistakes.
H — Hope for a better way of making progress. Sometimes our visions become foggy. Change brings the opportunity to catch sight of someone else’s vision and clarify our own.
A — Anticipate a good outcome. Look to the future and plan to learn more about yourself. You already know what you can do in your present role, but now you’ve been plunged into a whole new ballgame. Use the opportunity to make yourself grow.
N — Nix negativity. Nothing drains your energy and creativity faster than looking at the down side of everything. Plan to succeed and move ahead with enthusiasm.
G — Get moving. The best way to handle change is to hit the ground running. Tackle the new tasks with abandon and dig in your heels with the determination to be successful.
E — Evaluate your growth. Change brings you in contact with your real self. It’s a good time to measure your maturity. Everything that has brought you to this point has prepared you for the test. Plunge in with confidence and expect to do well.