March 8th makes the switch to Daylight Saving Time. This change can be viewed as harsh, losing an hour of sleep, or positive, gaining an extra hour of afternoon sun. Minor changes happen to our calendars but change in our lives and businesses can introduce major stress or significant benefit.
Life and business changes can radically affect us because they play with our brains. Both positive and negative change activates the conflict sensors in the brain which causes stress, (Harvard Medical School, Dr Pillay, Psychologist). The brain doesn’t discriminate between good and bad change; a new marriage or a divorce both induce anxiety or uncertainty. The brain is comfortable with habit and old patterns so “newness” triggers stress and stress often results in uncertainty. That’s why I’m much more likely to be safe and comfortable with the status quo rather than want to grit my teeth and work on changing. So how do we cope with this change?
The brain needs a time-out when it’s faced with unpredictability. If you don’t know if you’re going to the dentist or a party, you have trouble predicting your reaction. 75% of people presume the worst when faced with ambiguity because the brain’s automatic bias is negative. Stepping back and verbalizing your fear and allowing that the outcome might be positive can help defuse anxious uncertainty. Making a plan to deal with a major transition helps organize your intentions to embrace the change and be open to the possibility that it may be a good thing.
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be negative. It can open the door to new opportunities and growth in our lives as well as in our businesses. With calmness, insight, self-kindness, intention and a sense of adventure, change can be wonderful. It may also be the spark that your company and you need.