How do you deal with change? Is it easier when you know it coming?

This spring, our youngest is graduating from high school, a change we knew was coming, a change we have been through previously with our oldest, so while in some ways we know the emotion that will be coming, but in many ways, it is still difficult, emotional change, none-the-less.

I am well accustomed with the PROSCI change model and the emotions of the change curve. I teach it to my clients,  and yet today, after a slew of emotions watching my daughter play her last high school soccer game, graduate on Friday, attend her last soccer banquet, and then to watch my husband step down after 25 years of coaching (and coaching her for the last 4 years), and begin to transition to a new job, new school, it is all a lot.

But I am prepared, right? I teach this stuff.

Well, time to take my own lessons on leadership and apply the strategies to myself. I am deep into the change management model. This is the tactical, more objective approach to change, or ADKAR – Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.

I am aware of the change and need to change. I want to be an active participant so the desire is there. I am currently learning how to change. I imagine this will take some time. I will learn what life looks like in this new experience. I will talk to others who have navigated it already, find out what they are doing or did, and start implementing new habits, hobbies, and how I spend my time.

Now, the emotional side of change.

If you aren’t familiar with the Kubler-Ross Change Curve, it is a model that describes the emotions people feel when experiencing a change. Most people go through a fairly standard set of emotional responses during a significant change. Though the model is most often associated with negative changes, it applies to people who experience positive changes as well.

And, turns out, it is right on. So, here is what I am doing:

  • I am giving myself grace to feel all the feels.
  • I am moving through the curve and not letting myself get too stuck in one emotion.
  • I recognize that as time passes I will probably move forward and backward and that is okay.
  • I am focusing on constant communication with those around me to let them know where I am at, how I am feeling, and checking in on them.
  • I am practicing a leader’s mindset, training my brain to focus on the new opportunities and what I am gaining versus the change and what might be going away.

At each stage of change, here are the strategies you can use to help move through the change.

How do you handle change? What strategies do you use? I would love for you to share.