The Two Faces of Change

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You  must let go of where you are to get to where you are going.





Change can be a crisis!








The "Opportunity Attitude."




Change wears two faces, the face of danger and the face of opportunity. The danger face is usually seen first. You may have to look hard to find the opportunity face.

Change begins with loss.

Change always involves danger because change always begins with loss. In order to change you must let go of where you are to get to where you are going. You leave something behind. Such loss is usually experienced as a threat and therefore a danger.

The "Letting Go" phase of change involves losses which can range from giving up the security of a routine task, to saying good bye to a familiar environment, to losing meaningful long term work relationships. Such a series of losses may be the result of having received a promotion and new career opportunities. While this is a positive change, it still involves loss. Whether a change is positive or negative, loss is always involved.

The Dangerous/Opportunity

The Chinese word for crisis is similar to the faces of change. The Chinese ideogram for crisis is composed of two separate characters. One means danger and the other means opportunity. The proper translation is, "Crisis is a dangerous opportunity." Often the danger of a crisis is readily seen while the opportunity can be well hidden. Frequently, crisis and change are seen as the same. When confronted with either it is important to recognize both the danger and the opportunity.

By nature we are all danger people. We usually see danger first. The human condition predisposes us to it. Evolutionary history dictates that when something new enters the environment we scan it for threat. Survival of the species depends upon recognizing and avoiding danger. It is always important to assess any change for the danger that it might pose. Becoming aware of potential danger allows you to make appropriate plans and preparations.

Seek the opportunity

However, once you have scanned for the danger of change remember to seek out the opportunity. The opportunity may not be obvious or immediate. The opportunity may be subtle such as the chance to learn something new. It may involve the taking on more responsibility which later opens new doors. Opportunity could give you more time with your family. It might make you a more mature person. You could receive financial rewards. Opportunity can be well disguised. Remember to seek it out.

If you are already an opportunity person then you have worked hard at intentionally opening yourself to looking for the positive. Being an opportunity person is a choice. It is a choice that enhances your ability to confront change. This choice depends upon your attitude which simply put is your outlook on life. Everyday you get to choose a new attitude. Every day is a new start.

Make it your habit to be aware of the possible danger of change but then consciously choose the attitude of opportunity. It is this attitude that will lead you optimistically forward in search of challenge and growth.

Always look for the positive face of change.

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