How to Tackle Change Without Feeling Overwhelmed

October 7, 2013

There you are all stressed out. You have to make sure a change happens tomorrow or else. Maybe it is traveling somewhere that you have never been to before. Then again, maybe it is making sure something happens at work and your boss is depending on you.

The problem is that, as you are sitting there thinking about what needs to happen, trying to figure out what you need to do; you become overwhelmed with all the conditions that must exist in order to make this thing happen. There are just so many conditions that are at play to think about.

This is not an easy situation to deal with no matter who you are. However, from a Change Science perspective, there is a concept that might help you as you try to work through this effort. The concept focuses on Relevant and Irrelevant conditions.

Relevant conditions are the subset out of the universe of all conditions that exist in the environment you are operating in that are relevant to the change you are hoping to accomplish. The reality is, the vast majority of conditions that exist are irrelevant to obtaining the change you desire.

Therefore, the key is to try to define and focus on only those conditions/things that are relevant to the task at hand. You might be asking why I would even bother bringing this up given how basic it is. Unfortunately, even though it is very basic, it is not an uncommon problem that people fall prey to when they are dealing with a major change in their life or at work.

On top of that, when it does occur, it tends to feed on itself. A person or organization becomes trapped in a vicious loop, becoming more and more stressed and overwhelmed, buried in what they perceive to be an ever increasing list of conditions/issues to deal with.

Before this happens to you, just remember to try to first determine what conditions are really relevant to obtaining the success you hope to achieve. Then focus on those relevant conditions doing the best you can to ignore those things that also might be happening which at the end of the day, are nothing but irrelevant.