Denial is such a subtle process.
You ask business people how they are going and they usually say to your face things like:
~ Never better!
~ Always good!
…but get them alone in a corner and they confide about how the tough economic environment is affecting them, how business growth is eluding them, how their dysfunctional team is driving them crazy…
For someone who is outside of denial, it’s totally different.
A friend of mine recently answered to the question “how are things going in your business?” with a cheery “Well, I’ve just lost a million!”
And he really has.
….but his frank admission is said with clear, open eyes and yes, he is engaged in putting strategies into action.
Being overwhelmed and stuck in Denial, is not a good time for gloss and floss – that may work in good times, but in tough, constantly changing times it just doesn’t wash!
It pays you to be honest with yourself when you are confronted by a loved one, loyal peer or trusted advisor who tells you that denial is not a river in Egypt.
So, what do you do different to deal with these challenges?
How can you adapt quickly to a different marketplace with different needs?
Do you know about the Cycle of Adapting to Change?
Generally, when a change happens to us, we react by going through four different emotional stages.
* The first two of these stages are notable for your inability to think clearly.
The first stage in the cycle of adapting to change is: Denial.
Our body protects us whenever we are overwhelmed by a perceived or real threat by shutting down on the reality that confronts us.
We pretend that everything is okay, we pretend that we feel great about things, we put on a brave face and forget that it’s all a sham and pretence.
Remember how the Ostrich acts when they see a lion? You know what the lion thinks when he sees an Ostrich with it’s head in the sand?…….Fast Food!
This is the same for business owners and leaders- Denial spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R-!
Resistance is the next stage after Denial in the cycle of adapting to change.
People get angry. People vent their emotions. Fist shaking and harsh words are often impotent expressions that fall on deaf ears and usually have no positive effect at all. But it’s what is needed – you need to express the emotional rollercoaster within before you can start thinking clearly.
If you get stuck in Resistance, you will not move forward and you will lose friends along the way. So if you are smart, when the emotions start running, go with the flow – ride the emotional wave to the shore.
These days, Resistance is spelt the same for business owners and leaders:
The next stage in the cycle of adapting to change is Considering Options – this is where you have gone through denial, broken through your resistance and are now in a place where you can entertain a range of options to deal. You are now able to think clearly and consider your options. Your neural bandwidth has expanded.
Time to think outside the box, talk to people who challenge you and offer suggestions, time to list every option, even the wild cards. Time to clarify what your objective is and consider which option or combination of options will work best for you….
Considering Options is spelt T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T-L-Y-!
The next stage of adapting to change is Action.
You choose the combination of options that make up your plan for your work – and then you work your plan.
Action is spelt F-O-C-U-S-E-D H-A-R-D W-O-R-K-!
…That’s how you survive and thrive in tough, constantly changing marketplaces!
If you are stuck in Denial or Resistance, or you know someone who is, you or they would benefit from a chat with me. Email me
…and we’ll arrange a time to speak confidentially and openly.