Accepting changes is one of the most fundamental difficulties that we as human beings face. We resist change when we change schools, we resent change when our friends move away, and we resent our own parents if they separated or moved away from us. Change is not always pleasant and it is not always for the better. Cities change, buildings are torn down, favorite bars and cafes are closed down and everything starts to seem unfamiliar and strange.
Jim Morrison of The Doors once sang “Strange days have found us, strange days have tracked us down, They’re going to destroy our casual joys, We shall go on playing or find a new town”
The essence of this opening stanza is that change always brings with it the unknown. Even if the change is for the better, we unconsciously resent it. We may become accustomed to old and current ways, and when something disrupts what we already, our status quo is destroyed. Yet, like Jim so wisely says, we shall go on playing or find a new town. And we must.
Accepting technological changes
Think about IT companies that deal with changes on an everyday basis. While they are always open to changes, somewhere there is always a fear of being upstaged by a newer and tougher technology, fear of not playing catch-up with newer start-ups and the fear of salvaging what has been lost to changes in technology. Underlying all this fear of changes is resistance to change. The more we resist to changes when they occur, the more we are going to resent it, fear it and ultimately, lose our minds.
No matter how much loss you have experienced because of all the tech buzzwords, there is always hope. There is always hoping to make peace with that which you have lost, and that which you may gain by wholeheartedly embracing changes, in spite of all your vulnerabilities. This brings us to the stage of becoming comfortable with discomfort or the state of being vulnerable. Once we accept and embrace our vulnerabilities, we tend to become more resilient, and are more open to taking proactive actions to embrace changes as they occur, instead of fearing them and mourning the losses. We become peaceful, and will no more be bothered about strange days finding us. We will not fear change and instead, we will make peace with changes, technological or otherwise.
Now let us take a look at how we can effectively stop fearing change, and make peace with it so that we can embrace technology as it changes, no matter how radical.
A 7-step process to overcoming resentment towards change, and embracing it
One of the first things that you must do in order to assess what technological change has done to your damage is to calculate your losses. If you have not upgraded from legacy systems to a cloud based computing model, you probably have already lost a lot in time and money. Objectively analyze your losses and seek help from people who are good at these kinds of jobs. Calculate your losses and quantify them, and print those charts in your office for everyone to see. Every single employee in your organization must know what are the losses incurred for not having embraced changes.
Begin the process of mourning your losses. Mourning is a very crucial and important step when it comes to healing. It is also important when it comes to moving towards success in a business that is not functioning very well. Be candid to your board of directors and be frank to your employees. It is perfectly OK to feel sad, angry and dejected our losses and to regret what was not done earlier. However, do not dwell on these emotions. After a while, know that there are 5 more steps for you to complete your healing journey.
The next step in healing is to admit that you are not in control of changes that take place on an everyday basis in the world of technology. Technology changes at a rapid pace and it is not easy to remain informed about everything and make all the changes necessary. You are not always in control and no one is. It is only human to be powerless against the tides of change unless one is prepared. Accept this vulnerability of yours.
The next step is also to realize that you are vulnerable. Vulnerable to changes, vulnerable to losses, vulnerable to stressful situation, people yelling at you, to constant taunts from competitors and vulnerable to self-criticism. All these things make you more stressed out, and far-removed from the changes that continue to happen anyway, no matter how you feel about it. By accepting that you are vulnerable, you will begin to see the light of the day as it is. It might be cloudy and rainy, and it might even be stormy. Wait for that to pass, and there will be sun shining bright sooner or later.
Once you realize that you are not in control over things that happened to you and that you are vulnerable to things that can happen to you, start doing something about it. The first step is to equip yourself with knowledge. Knowledge may come from interacting with people from your industry, networking with influential people, reading books, listening to podcasts and just about anything, including taking classes. You need to understand and learn about the changes that have taken place in your domain, and also understand in a realistic manner what kind of changes you can expect in future.
Once you assess the changes that are taking place and are likely to take place, seek professional help. Ensure that you have a counselor or a psychologist to discuss your emotions and second, start looking for technical help that your business so badly needs. Speak to agencies that are willing to help you and not just provide services, but also valuable guidance and moral support. Yes, there are cloud service providers who believe in providing moral support and a lending ear to their clients.
Now that you have sought help for changes that need to be brought in technologically, and now that you are overcoming your resentment and fear towards change, begin to embrace. Wholeheartedly accept that changes will always take place, sometimes slowly and many times very rapidly. Look forward to these changes and attend conferences and network with people to always know what is happening in the world of technology. Approach technological changes with a positive mindset.
The process of healing from resistance to changes in technology
As you can see, embracing technological change is not an easy process. It is a painful and often vulnerable process that takes a lot of strength to overcome. Once we begin to calculate our losses, and admit that we are not in control, we will be able to mourn all that we have lost. Mourning is very important because it is part of the healing journey. Once you have mourned enough, accept your vulnerabilities and do not beat yourself up. You are not perfect and neither is your competitor. You can strive towards perfection by realizing that you are imperfect and that you cannot be great at everything in life. Not even Bill Gates is perfect at everything.
Once you make peace with your vulnerability and have mourned your losses, begin to actively study about the changes that are taking place. Attend networking events, make friends with your competitors and read books. Books can teach you a lot more than you probably realize. Inform yourself of technological developments that are taking place and seek help from professionals. Help can be sought not only from service providers but also clinical psychologists, church ministers, and so on. Mental health is very important when you are going through business crises. For this reason, psychotherapy can come to rescue when you have begun to accept your vulnerabilities and objectively move towards fixing your life and business.
Seek professional technological help for your business. It is never too late to catch up with what is happening in the world of science and technology. Once you know that what you have lost is lost forever, but that your future can be made secure with professional technical help, your entire outlook begins to change. You begin to view technological changes in a positive light, and begin to embrace it. Probably, you will even look forward to changes and you will be the first to bring new technologies among your competitors.
When you reach this point, you will almost be a thought leader, able to guide not only your peers, but also inspire your own competitors. When you reach this stage, you have almost reached entrepreneurial nirvana. Now, change doesn’t seem so bad, does it?