A simple exercise to boost your resilience to change

I boarded the bus to the subway this afternoon, headed for Brazilfest, an annual summer event in Toronto. Disembarked at the subway station only to find the trains weren’t running due to maintenance. Alternative transport was arranged. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) allocated buses to shuttle passengers to another station further on down the line.

TTC bus at subway“Well, this is a change,” I thought.  I wasn’t upset or disappointed, instead, mildly surprised.  It was a beautiful summer Sunday (meaning not humid!!) and I wasn’t in a rush.

Led me to wonder how we deal with the changes going on around us. Are people calm, easy going, relaxed, or do folks respond in quite different ways?

The Challenge of Change is…

The changes we are all going through will be speeding up over the next little while.  We’ll be seeing more of them and experiencing shifts in our normal routines with greater frequency.

CNN made two announcements today that caught my eye.

  • Elizabeth II, Queen of England is starting a Flickr stream July 26 (link)
  • Australian Presidential candidates move their televised debate in favour of a cooking program (link)

The old power structures adapting to the times by shaking hands with the future.

…the Future Wins

If there were a face-off between the past and the emerging future, I’d say the future triumphs.  It always will.  There is no going back. Queen Elizabeth II and the Australian parliament realize this.  We have to get with the picture too.

How to stay strong and resilient

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel comfortable with the changes that will affect your life that you have no control of, like the TTC closing some subway stations for maintenance?  Use this approach to assess and strengthen your resilience.

  1. Make a list, daily, of changes in your personal life.  Perhaps the computer went on the blink, or you find a lucky penny, or a client cancels a meeting last minute.  Write these down.
  2. Write down how you handled the shifts too. Whether they were easy, difficult, or unbearable, make a note of how you reacted and what you did.
  3. At the end of the month see how many changes you deal with on a regular basis, and how often you are able to adapt with comfort to new situations.
  4. Review the uncomfortable ones, and then, talk with others about how they have dealt with similar change discomforts.
  5. Generate new ideas and make new decisions so the next time a less-than-desirable change occurs in your life you can rely on a new sense of confidence and resilience with your reactions and behaviours.

You deserve to keep your cool, and you can use this method to help.