How to be Thankful for Change


Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. A day to spend with loved ones, eating all kinds of deliciousness, and simply taking time to reflect on what matters most. I can’t think of anything better!

This year, I’ve been particularly astute to the idea of change. Whether professional or personal, it seems that change has been swirling about in my life and in the lives of many others that I know. Some changes have been wonderful. Other changes, a little more stressful. I know that not everyone is crazy about change, particularly the stressful changes.

How do we embrace change and even – be thankful for it? Is that even possible?  I think yes.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Don’t just do something…sit there! (see what I did there?)

It’s a crazy time. We are in perpetual motion, whether physically, mentally or technologically. It seems that when change occurs, we jump to react – and sometimes, when we follow that knee-jerk reaction, we don’t take the appropriate time to consider the change and its impact on the situation, job, or our life. Take a moment. Reflect. Consider your questions. Talk to someone. Or maybe just sleep on it.

2. Don’t just sit there…do something! (see what I did *there*?)

Once you’ve reflected, once you’ve done your due diligence, once you’ve made a pro/con list – once you’ve done whatever you do to process the change…get to work! Make a plan to implement the change. By accepting the change and incorporating it into your routine, the sooner you will get used to it.

Learning nerd sidenote: This lends itself to the 70% of 70-20-10, don’t you think? It’s not enough to learn it conceptually….apply it practically.

3. Ask why. Often.

Connect with people you respect to ask questions and discuss the change. Sometimes it takes an unbiased opinion to put a situation in perspective or to provide context. Once you have perspective and context, often you’ll see the situation in a different light…which often makes change easier to digest.

4. Make change your competitive advantage.

Since many people are averse to change, be the person who gets on board. Look for the positive opportunities that come with change. Look at that half-full glass and use the situation (whether personal or professional) to your advantage!

Recently, I read this quote that stuck with me:

There is no growth without pain. Change for the better always requires letting loose of a certain degree of status quo. You realize then that the pain of moving ahead … the trials, the frustrations, the disappointments, and the failures … are always better than the situation you once found yourself in and accepted. Change won’t begin until you seize the courage and mental discipline to immerse yourself in a certain amount of pain and disillusionment concerning where you are in the present.

(source unknown)

I know this quote naturally lends itself to stressful, negative change. But to me, this speaks to positive changes as well. Change is all about moving past the status quo. And for that – for better or worse – I’m thankful. If your 2014 has been full of changes, know that I’m rooting for you as we move into this holiday season and bring this year to a close. I’m hoping something positive has come from those changes!

Finally – to you, Phase(Two)Nation, I’m thankful for you. For your continued readership. For your likes and comments. For your shares and subscribes. For your passion for and dedication to progressive, meaningful workplace learning.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Your turn: What are you most thankful for – personally or professionally? Please take a moment to share in the comments!


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