As the old adage goes, “The only constant thing in life is change.” Changes are happening all around us. In our personal lives, we grow older each day. With growing older comes change in the way we think, act and even feel.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw, playwright

We also experience change in our professional lives. Companies continuously have to make changes to stay relevant in their respective industries and keep up with consumer trends as well as overcome industry challenges. Think about the camera, the media player or even the wheel! All have experienced drastic change over the course of time, but all of those changes have been for the better, to help revolutionize society.

Change is inevitable and always occurring; there’s no way to outrun it. We can, however, control the way we react to change. The attitude we choose to respond with is just that – a choice. It’s been said that people respond to change typically in one of four ways: They become critics, bystanders, victims or change champions. When you’re presented with change in the workplace, becoming a change champion is achievable, but it takes five steps.

1. Understand and accept your emotions.

It’s important when change occurs that we don’t forget or rush through this step. Change will always bring about new emotions, and it’s normal to react that way. However, we shouldn’t dwell on those emotions; we should work to balance them and maintain perspective.

2. Take some time to step back and analyze what this change means to you.

Identify the little steps that need to happen in order to achieve the entire change. This process will allow you to objectively stabilize your emotions and eliminate the “noise” that comes with organizational change.

3. Make sure your approach to overcoming obstacles is well thought-out.

Understand that change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes determination, perseverance and, most importantly, patience. Don’t try to rush the desired results. While it may seem tempting to give up, especially as you encounter new challenges, try to remain positive.

4. Acknowledge the small victories throughout the change process.

It can be helpful to break down the process into small, “bite-sized” components to help yourself envision the anticipated result. This practice can produce an optimistic outlook, which is important for maintaining the will to push yourself through the change.

5. Take ownership and implement the change.

Keeping an open mind, remaining flexible and maintaining your sense of humor throughout the change process will help you persevere.

Of course, remember that nothing will happen unless you take action!