University of Wisconsin–Madison

Change is scary! But it is also an opportunity!

By Joshua Schwab
During times of change it can often be hard to manage the stress that comes with uncertainty. But change is inevitable and can actually be an opportunity for new growth, improvement and possibility. Harvard psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer discovered how our perception of a situation can constrain us and how our assumptions can limit the possibility for growth.

Think about how your beliefs in physical limits might influence what you accomplish or what new endeavors you opt not to begin. How can you be more mindful of the messages you send yourself, and open your mind to more of what’s possible?

Dr. Langer’s research has shown how using a different word, acknowledging the choices we have, or making subtle changes can improve our health and well-being. Try noticing something new about a situation within your workplace, such as new ways of experiencing team meetings, the environment, or an interaction with a co-worker. Start by noticing the facts of the situation and any beliefs that you may be holding about those facts. What can you re-frame? As you engage in this practice, try sensing whether you can feel a quality of interest or curiosity that has the potential to change an outcome or your experience of a situation.

Did you find what you need?