3 Ways to Deal with Change at Work (or anywhere)

Resistance to Change | Hari Kalymnios

What’s the one constant in life?


And yet, the majority of us are so bad with dealing with it. In fact, part of the liberation of the Self stems from understanding – truly understanding – this seemingly simple concept.

And yet it’s not easy. I’ve even gone on a 10-day silent meditation retreat called Vipassana and gained an experiential understanding (rather than conceptual or intellectual understanding) of this concept. Check out a funny speech I gave on that here: https://youtu.be/Dq7t12B-skM

Break ups, redundancies, new procedures and processes at work, new bosses, menu changes at your favourite eatery,  and on and on and on. Changes are everywhere and they can still throw us.

So, short of going on Vipassana or some other extreme solution, what practical ways can you deal with change – be that at work, at home, or in other areas of your life?

The other day I went to go to my usual yoga class but…. there was a substitute teacher there! My immediate thought was

“Oh no! Let me just go home. I’ve got loads of work to do anyway.”

I felt uncomfortable. Why? In my experience (both personally and observationally) the majority of people I see, don’t like change. At least, not when it’s not instigated by them.

It’s unfamiliar, it’s unusual and ancestrally speaking, change could often mean danger. Suddenly there’s a change to the tracks you walk on – you look at there are tiger footprints. The weather changes and your crops are challenged. We’re wired to think of change as bad – for the majority of us. But it’s the one constant (ironically) in life.

Here are three things that eventually went through my head after my initial thought above, to get me into that yoga class and these can help you when dealing with change at work or anywhere else.

1)  I wonder what new thing I’m going to be able to learn from this change?

By asking this you create a positive feeling in using the word “wonder”. It’s like you are excited and a kid again. Also, the way the sentence is structured pre-supposes that you will learn something. And the thing is you will always learn something from every change, so it’s not B.S. and so your brain accepts it. When you frame it like this, your Google-mind (if you read my last post, you’ll know that I refer to our minds operating a bit like Google. In that whatever you put into it, will give you back an answer) looks for the answer to that question.

Then, I said to myself

2)  This change might be even better than what was there before!

It’s true too. How many times in your life have you resisted a change that occurred – especially if it was forced upon you – like a redundancy or break up – but in actual fact, what eventually happened was even better than before. I know I have and I’m not alone in thinking this. Again, we’re not fooling ourselves to saying it will be better, but where opening ourselves up to the possibility that it could be better. And by shifting the focus of our attention, it primes our brain to look for areas within this change that are in fact better than before. In the case of my yoga class, maybe the new teacher overall wasn’t a better fit for me but the way they did certain explanations and handson adjustments was in fact better.

Lastly, consider saying this to yourself.

3)  Let me just ‘road-test’ this change and then decide

How many times have we reached a conclusion about something that changed before even giving it a fair go. This statement reminds you that you can (like us all) jump to conclusions. On very little evidence too. I can’t really say something will be better or worse until I’ve tried both things out really. Sure – if you’re feeling pedantic you might present me with an example where you don’t need to try something out to know it’s worse, but sensibly speaking we do need to give things a fair go.

I remember at work there were always changes happening – to processes, team members, staff, the building and so on. The funny thing was, that even when there were given a fair go and I found them to be worse, I did end up, for the most part anyway, forgetting about them. The thing is this though. And it’s quite important.


You can choose to stay in amongst the change. Or make a choice and change yourself. Don’t just make that choice or change on pure reflex instinct though because you are uncomfortable with change.

Go through these three questions/statements first and then see.

I trust this will help you approach and deal with change a little easier from now on. And if you still struggle I can thoroughly recommend a visit to a Vipassana meditation centre near you! In fact, regardless, I suggest everyone reading this would benefit from going to one!

How do you deal with change? Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

What do you think?