Change happens – consistently.
Nowhere is that truth more evident than when you accept a career in sales or sales leadership. After more than three decades in the industry, I have seen numerous changes. I have seen territory changes, commission structure changes, manager changes and company buy outs. I have seen changes that didn’t involve me at all. But at times, I also had to cope with unexpected changes that impacted me directly.
So, how do we cope with unexpected changes?
Not very well, unfortunately.
So, what can we do differently to cope with these unexpected changes?
Choose How You Respond:
The things that happen to each of us in life are usually never as good, or as bad, as we think they are at the time we go through the experience. Soren Kierkegaard said,
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
As I look back on my own life, I would not trade any of the changes I experienced. With each unexpected change also came unexpected benefit. Choose to expect the change to work out in your favor; if not immediately, then eventually. As a rule, your life is impacted much more by how you respond to the events you encounter than by the events themselves.
Have a Reality Check:
Take the time to step back and think about the real impact of the change. Make a list of both the potential positives and negatives. Many times over the years, I have seen people who became very upset at a change that had no real impact on them at all. They were responding more to the “unknown” – not the event.
A wise pastor of mine once told me, “Stop responding to anticipatory grief”. If the outcome does not affect you, you have gone through the emotional anguish for nothing. And if the outcome does affect you, going through it now only makes you go through it twice.
Ask yourself, does this really affect me? If so, then make a plan for your future. If not, let it go.
Don’t get stuck in the past. Think it out. Take a little time to be upset if needed. Talk to a friend about it. But when all is said and done, if the change is out of your control you will eventually need to find some fresh air and move on.
Keep your eyes on the future, and press the pedal to the floor. Live like somebody left the gate open.
QUESTION: What about the expected changes in your life? How do you cope with that?