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4 Types of Change: How to Constructively Respond to Change in Life and Career

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4 Types of Change: How to Constructively Respond to Change in Life and Career

In my previous post, we dwelt on “The Inevitability of Change and How to Leverage Change to Scale up Your Firm’s Bottom-line.”  If you’ve not read the article, click here to read it NOW.

Someone once said change is the only constant thing in life. Change is inevitable in life. Today, as we are witnessing with the scourge of the COVID – 19 pandemic, change has been thrust upon us. This makes it needful that we know how to handle and manage change.

Today, I want us to look at four types of change and how to respond to change, constructively to produce positive results in your life and in your firm as a business.

It is worth repeating again that change is something we all go through in one way or the other in the different facets of our lives. Change in itself can be very much positive or negative. It all depends on what it is, how it affects us when it comes, where it affects us, what our views are and so many other factors. In the case of change, what is good for the goose may not necessarily be good for the gander.

4 Distinct Types of change

Let us take a broad look at four types of change that we experience one way or the other. According to the book ‘The Principles and Benefits of Change’ by Dr Myles Munroe, there is the change that happens to us – we do not have control over that. There is also the change that happens around us – we see it, we see its effects. Another type of change, which is quite powerful is that which happens within us. Lastly, there is the change that we initiate.


  1. Change that happens to us

This is an unanticipated or unforeseen change that happens to us which affects our personal lives, careers, families and so forth. Say your boss implements new protocols or procedures on the job or the government passes new rules that affect our lives directly. There is little you can do about such changes depending on your circumstances. Do not break your head over such changes that you cannot do anything about. Focus on what you can control and not what you do not have any power over. It is like a dog barking at a tree, it will not have any kind of impact on the tree. Its efforts are wasted.

  1. Change that happens around us

This is a sudden or unanticipated change that happens around us that affects our society, nation or the world at large.  This kind of change could also have some impact on us personally and on our ways of life.  For instance, the present COVID – 19 epidemic has brought about changes and will still bring more changes to the world as we know it. Work life, transportation and travel, health care systems, economies, businesses etc. have all been affected. These changes have some impact on us but there is little we can do about that.


  1. Change that happens within us

This is a change that happens inside of us that directly affects who we are, our mind-sets, how we see and do things. It affects our behaviours and can affect us either physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. This kind of changes have the most impact on our lives. It is also with this kind of changes that we can have the most control. We can determine how this turns out and how lasting it is. Change that happens within us can be caused by external factors or by internal factors. Here it is critical for us to safeguard what we allow into our minds or surround ourselves with. The influence of our communications and what we consume [mind-wise] greatly determines the kind of change we experience within. Changes like this can be triggered by powerful external events that we are directly involved with that have a very great impact on our mind-sets. A negative example could be a betrayal that leads to certain internal changes but even with that we can mitigate the effects of such things and determine the outcome to turn out positive.


  1. Change that we initiate

This is an expected or anticipated change that we intentionally cause or enforce by altered or changed routines. This could be plans and actions we deliberately undertake in order to move us from the present to a preferred future.  This is the kind of change you judiciously enforce in your life in order to be the best version of yourself and in the life of others, to make their lives and the world a better place.

One of the beautiful things about this kind of change is that it does not comes by surprise. You have to literally create it.  In that way, you have control over it as well.

Each of these types of change can occur separately on their own but a lot of times there might be some form of overlapping between them. The most important thing we need to know about change is how we respond to them. Change is very important as it is not just limited to our personal lives. These changes can affect our work lives and the productivity of our teams at work etc.

There are the gradual changes that occur over a period of time that a lot of times we are not conscious of. Over time these changes become very obvious and noticeable to everyone and sometimes the origins of the change cannot be traced by the time the change itself is noticed.  Depending on the degree and intensity of the change, the resulting effects can vary from merely stretching us to grow and be better, to causing us to be out-dated in our endeavours or career if we react, rather than respond positively to it.


How to Constructively Respond to Change

When you react to change by holding tightly to what you are used to, the result or effect could be loss. It could be loss to business opportunity, loss of fulfilling your entire purpose of living, or loss of what you could have achieved assuming you had responded constructively to the change. Thus, the effect of you failing to implement positive change to improve your life can range from you missing out on a single rewarding experience to not fulfilling your entire purpose of living.

Therefore, it is not negotiable but essential that you learn to positively and proactively respond to change [positive change] to be at the forefront, and then leverage on its benefits, while others are still trying to adapt and find their footings around the change.

Rather than trying to fight change [except it is negative] by holding tightly to the things you are used to and not ready to learn new skills and ways of doing things, have an open mind to learning and trying out new things.

We are living in a changing world. The only way to be at the forefront in life and business in today’s business world, is to always have an open mind and not be closed to different opinions or ideas in your life, business or career.

One change that has been forced on many is working from home and staying indoors. We didn’t expect to be locked down at home a few months ago but here we are. You need to adapt, you need to re-invent yourself and your firm in other to stay afloat and survive and ultimately thrive.

We can help you in these changing times. Want to learn how to effectively work from home or have an effective remote office that enables you and your team to work remotely from anywhere?  Reach out to us – [email protected].


To Your Success


Luke Ikekpolor

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