These days it can feel like everything is subject to dramatic and sudden change. If you’ve found yourself unsure how to live well in the face of “technological disruption” or other macro forces in the media and the markets, perhaps some perspective will help.
Most anger and anxiety around upheaval and uncertainty comes from fear. “Where do I fit in?” “How will I adapt?” Sometimes this fear blossoms into full-blown denial. Denial includes a refusal to accept the changes happening before our eyes, an unwillingness to learn about future possibilities, and self-soothing stories which assure us that all will remain basically the same.
Instead, you might do well to enhance your mindset perspective. Here are five tactics to help you prepare:
- Look at patterns in other areas. Though there is no “one size fits all” for radical change, there are lessons to be learned from recent history. Understanding big shifts in other industries, markets, or countries may help you get a feel for how your world may change.
- Recognize when you’re in the echo chamber. Many established players will tell you what you want to hear: “Don’t panic, everything’s fine.” It can be alluring to listen to those voices who say “change is overblown” or “we’re in a unique industry, immune to many of the changes.”
- Seek contrary opinions. Find out who holds different values. Listen to the arguments they have for revolutionizing the world or urging for reforms, even if it threatens your “normal.” You may disagree, but you can’t rationally evaluate your options if you keep your head in the sand.
- Avoid catastrophizing. Catastrophizing “is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is.” (Learn more here: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-catastrophizing/) Even sea changes take time. Many predictions are too dire and unrealistic. Don’t let your fears drive your actions. Be smarter about your feelings.
- Don’t fall victim to excessive nostalgia. We have a tendency to romanticize and simplify the past, giving ourselves the luxury of rose-colored glasses. Take time to appreciate the upside of change. Wishing for a time machine is a sure-fire way to remain paralyzed.
Yes, adapting to these changes can be a challenge. But take heart. You are more resilient than you might realize.
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