Change Truth #2: Change is decision … And that’s good for you (Part 2 of Five Truths I Tell My Clie


I’m all about practical change management – with an emphasis on practical. So when individuals, families, and business decision-makers come to me for help navigating a personal, professional, or organizational change, I get them started with information they can apply right away: I introduce them to five fundamental truths about change. Experience proves that when people understand and acknowledge these five change truths, they’re better equipped to cross the threshold into change, move through the change process, and emerge into a positive and stable new normal that feels right and works to their best advantage.

Here’s Number 2 of my Five Truths About Change.

2. Change is decision … And that’s good for you

In Change Truth #1: Change is a stressor … And there’s good news, too, I wrote that change often causes mental /and or emotional stress, and that practical change management can reduce the level of negative change-driven stress. One of the most stressful features of change is that it makes us feel like we’re losing control. In our ‘normal,’ (the status quo that is now being interrupted by change), we knew how to manage things to get the results we wanted. But now, a disruption in our normal is making things different from what we normally expect and accept, and we’re not sure how to control whatever is going on, or even if we can.

Before we discuss how change is decision, and why that’s good for you, let’s understand what decision is. The word ‘decision’ comes from the Latin decidere, which literally means ‘to cut off.’ So when a decision occurs, it means that one option is selected and all others are cut off.

Now here’s how change is decision, and why that’s good for you.

In change, either you, or a force external to yourself, cuts off all options, including maintaining the present normal, in favor of moving toward a particular new normal. That’s how the process of change begins and then proceeds: with successive decisions to bring about a new normal.

In my upcoming book, The Change Course, I map nine thresholds of change that mark milestones in the course of change, starting with Decision and ending in New Normal, with seven other progressive change thresholds in between. I also make the point that, once the decision is made to move forward to a new normal, your own movement through each of the remaining thresholds of change is motivated exclusively by the decisions you make.

Practical change management demonstrates that, by internalizing the truth that each threshold of change is based on decision, you can reduce your level of change-driven stress, re-take control, and re-gain the power of choice as you move through the process of change.

That’s one of the compelling benefits of practical change management.

Read my next blog for Change Truth #3: Change is sequential … And that’s good to know.

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What are your thoughts and experiences around change and decision? The Barbara Dershowitz Community of Change wants to know. Share your message below.

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