Stress and Change Management

How Resilient Are You?

A Business Owner’s Guide to Stress and Change Management

The key to change is to let go of fear. – Rosanne CashThere is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction. – Winston ChurchillChange is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. – Mahatma Gandhi

A young businessman weathers the storm of change under his umbrella.A new year brings with it lots of opportunity and excitement. It can also introduce change and with it, stress. Often the way you manage stress and change can indicate whether or not your business will thrive in a competitive market. It’s natural to feel anxiety now and then, especially when managing your own business. But when you’re better equipped to manage the stress and change that comes with it, you’re more likely to weather the storm that often accompanies the gradual climb to success. Here are seven tips that will help:

1. Don’t resist.Change often feels uncomfortable, even if it’s positive change. As you move forward recognize that while change is different it’s not necessary bad. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and determine where the change will take your business. When and if you decide the change is moving your practice in a positive direction, stop resisting the change. Allow it to propel you forward where you and your clients belong.2. Tackle one change at a time.When experiencing rapid success or handling a significant obstacle you often encounter numerous changes all at once. It’s important that you not allow them to overwhelm you. If possible, sit down and list the changes. Determine whether or not you can tackle them one at a time. Often in putting these changes on paper you can visualize what must happen and in what order.3. Take charge.Change causes stress because individuals often feel powerless in its wake. As you tackle one change at a time you can also make a list of action items that would enable you to take charge of the situation and feel empowered. Could you better direct the course of the change or, if necessary, prevent it altogether? For example, perhaps you’ve decided to move out of your home office and into a commercial space. You have made this decision yourself but are anxious about how things will turn out. In this situation you might take charge by providing all current and potential clients with a change of address so they’ll know where they can reach you. This also gives you the opportunity to promote your services while demonstrating the growth and success of your business.4. Remain positive.When overwhelmed and stressed with business worries it can be difficult to remain positive, but the more you entertain negative thoughts and emotions, the larger they’ll become. Pick a positive mantra or two and repeat them anytime you find yourself thinking negative thoughts; you’ll be surprised at how quickly the negative energy dissipates.5. Be patient.Change takes time so you’ll weather it much better if you sit back and try to relax your way through it. Exercising impatience will only cause more stress and frustration.6. Consider how the change affects others.You’re probably not the only one stressed by the change. Whether it impacts them directly or indirectly be aware of how your family is managing the situation. Try to limit the impact on them and anyone else, including clients, who may be affected.7. Avoid complacency.It’s important to recognize that complacency can be your greatest enemy. The more comfortable you become with your current situation, the more likely you’ll remain there. In order to expand and grow you must welcome change and all that it entails. So when change enters your life, celebrate; it means you’re headed somewhere and that’s always better than nowhere.

It’s important that you take an active role in managing change and the stress that usually results from it. When you do so you start acting on events in your life rather than reacting to them. Consider that all change will take you somewhere and in most cases it will prove beneficial to your business. Just stay alert and remain strong and chances are your business will do the same.