Harness the Emotions of Change and Use Them to Propel You Forward

Change brings many emotions, often strong ones. Each one packs its own kind of power.

Harness and use the energy of emotion, whatever it is.

These are some of the emotions you may experience during change, and ways you can use them to move you forward:

– Excitement

Use excitement to drive you ahead, ever closer to the desirable future you imagine…and through the sometimes unnerving, sometimes exhilarating process of not quite knowing how something new will work out.

Focus on the benefits of the new circumstances to pull you most powerfully forward.

– Fear

Use fear to help you anticipate things that could go wrong with the change process, and then to plan and take actions to prevent those circumstances from occurring.

Fear can direct you to a safer path through change than you might take if you did not heed its cautionary call.

– Patience

Use the power of patience to summon your ability to attend to planning and the details of implementation.

Use it, also, to increase the confidence and focus of those around you who aren’t seeing the change process as charitably as you are, at the moment. (You may need them to return the favor later).

– Impatience

It’s going to be there, so use it.

The power of impatience can help you delegate or sweep away low priority tasks, so you can focus on what is most essential.

Impatience carries a lot of power…which can be destructive if turned on the people around you, or can propel you forward rapidly, if channeled in positive ways.

– Discouragement

Discouragement often means that plans were too aggressive, or that not enough time was factored in for periodically recharging, regathering energy, and renewing focus.

Or maybe plans for the change process assumed that everything would go like clockwork…and that’s not happening (it usually doesn’t).

Use discouragement to pause and step away for a bit, if you can. Refresh, renew, even if briefly.

Then remind yourself why the change is being made, and how you may benefit from it in some way.

– Confusion

This can occur if the purpose or path through change is obscured, or was never spelled out well in the first place.

Sometimes uncertainty can’t be completely cleared away, of course…it’s just part of the change process…yet there are things that can be done to reduce it.

Focus on the goal, set interim milestones and concentrate on reaching each one. And celebrate in some appropriate way when you do.

– Bargaining

The desire to bargain (and before that, maybe, the desire to yell or complain, if we’re honest) can occur if you feel you’re not being heard.

It can also occur if you’re concerned that plans are not realistic, or the resources needed for change are not being provided.

Express openly, honestly and respectfully what your fears and concerns are. Listen with an open mind. Negotiate or renegotiate agreements, if need be, and if possible.

– The desire to give up

Don’t fight it. This feeling will probably occur at some point, and maybe at multiple points, in the change process.

Just knowing that quitting is an option can take the pressure off, and you realize that you’ve come too far, made more progress than you realized, and really don’t want to turn back, after all.

The uncertainty and energy required for change will clear eventually.

You may even find you’re bored when certainty does return, believe it or not. There’s a lot to be said for the growth that occurs for almost everyone during a change process.

– The drive to keep going, no matter what

Use this drive to push over, around, or through barriers that appear as if they could prevent you from reaching your goal.

And use this powerful energy, if need be, to prove that it’s possible to do what naysayers said couldn’t be done.

This short list has covered just a few of the emotions that are likely to occur at some point during the change process.

Did I cover the emotions you’re most familiar with during the change process?

If not, make your own list, or add to this one.

Consider how you can use each emotion when, and if, it arises during the change process.

Just by anticipating what may occur as you go through the ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures that accompany change helps you to prepare for, and be able to make the best of it.

Harness the energy of change to help you move forward.

jan@jgrichardsresults.com' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.


  1. Sure, Tammy. I’m glad you found the article helpful.

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