Change is woven into the fabric of our lives and this will never change. However, how we respond is what matters. Tell me this, when CHANGE knocks on your door, what do you do? This is what the truth is… rarely is change easy and even the ones that we are excited about and that are ‘positive’ still bring their own challenges. It doesn’t matter whether it is adjusting to a new baby, married life, a new job or even winning the lottery. This is all CHANGE! On the other side of the coin it could they can look negative and be incredibly difficult and at times seem insurmountable, like an illness, a car accident, a natural disaster, losing your money or someone you dearly loved. Change = Life, and Life = Change. There is no separating them. They are the same side of one coin.
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. – Henri Bergson
What we do have no matter what happens in our lives is CHOICE. We always have the choice as to how we respond to either side of the coin.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be. – William Shakespeare
My point is… Change is, it just is and it is never going to go away. It is even happening as we speak, we are aging and that is change. So, the point is that change, like any other muscle, is going to atrophy if we don’t work with it. And each time Change knocks on our door we have a choice, will we be proactive, or will we become reactive. Will we be resistant, or will we become curious, as to how we might go forward. We always have a choice as to which road we will take, the reactive road or the proactive road.
I get curious when my clients come up against a wall, or hit a wall head on, or maybe it is a wall they keep hitting and I am always taken by their individual process and how they go through the change. Many of them come to me when they have been part of a company downsizing, or they know it is time to grow and they can’t do it where they are, in other words, they have outgrown the box they are in and are ready for new challenges. Other times they have stayed too long at the fair and they are willing to do whatever they need to do to have what they want. They analyze the risks, they weigh the opportunities and even though they are sometimes impatient they learn that patience is their friend and will impact the choices regarding the change before them, They take steps even when their knees are knocking, or they must have a difficult conversation, negotiate their worth in dollars, or learn to ask.
I am so privileged because I also get see them come out on the other side transformed in incredible ways that they could have never imagined. It wasn’t easy but they continue to confirm within that they are here to grow, and when one of my clients who has spent her entire life second guessing herself, has reached a level of mastery within herself, and has achieved a coveted senior position in her career she knows she has built her inner and outer muscles and can take on the big stretch that is before her with confidence. It doesn’t mean she isn’t somewhat anxious, but she knows deep within she really can do it! She knows she can take on this next change that is being asked of her. Not only does she make the change/s, but she exceeds her own expectations.
These are the people who feed my soul, these are the people who sometimes have all the odds against them, and they feel like they are up against the impossible, but they summon up courage they didn’t know they had.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu
One of my clients who had been in ‘transition’ going on three years due to the last down turn in the economy when his company was hit hard. He was concerned, he was scared, his spouse was hyper-anxious, without realizing it was adding to his already great angst. He knew his family was as scared and were depending on him. His specific skillset was in a niche sector of the oil and gas industry. Even with all of this he took a deep breath and said he was willing to do whatever it took to make the changes that would eventually get him to where he wanted to go. He invested in himself financially, adding certifications, diversifying his career portfolio and doing what he didn’t want to do, and that is liaising, having coffees, and attending seminars and events he has shied away from when he was comfortable and employed. He called people he didn’t want to call because he had not kept up his relationship with them. He began to really master the ability to connect with people from his authentic-self and learned to make it about them and not him.
In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety. – Abraham Maslow
As he continued to summon up the grit and the courage drop by drop, he realized things were changing within him and how he saw himself as others. He could really begin to see how he was developing his inner muscles, like his confidence muscle, his belief muscle, his courage muscle knowing that his dedication to personal and professional growth during a dark and bleak time in his life and career would see him through to the next level of emerging into the person he wanted to become. There are no words to describe the day he walked into my office beaming with pride in himself as raise his hand and said, “Yes! I did it!”
Transition through transformation is my calling
I cannot think of anything more rewarding then to being asked to journey with my clients through thick and thin, and ultimately to witness their transition to transformation… This is what I live for – seeing my clients succeed when it appears that the deck is stacked against them.
I am an executive coach and a career strategist who works with top tier executives and emerging leaders who want to move up, out, or into a new position. Many of them don’t realize in the beginning that there is more to it than their skills, their degrees, and their experience. In fact, people who just want to get a job are not a good fit for me, nor I for them. The people who want to partner with me on their journey are the people who don’t just want a job or a career, they want a transformation. This is where we roll up our sleeves and prepare for their inner journey as they are ready to go for the gold. Their inner-gold!
Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone. – Billy Cox
I know it’s not going to happen immediately, and it is a long road if they are going to transform. They can change but it doesn’t mean they will transform. There is a difference between the two! You can change the color of your hair, you can change where you live, you can change your clothes, you can change jobs, but to really change on a deep and inner level takes self-awareness, clarity, and confidence. You can’t buy any of those things at Best Buy! Its an inside job that takes commitment to self, trusting oneself to do what one doesn’t always want to do. Not taking the easy way out that often keeps one in their comfort zone, which I call the danger zone. And it is the danger zone because it tends to breed complacency, slothfulness and a whatever attitude.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reaching your goals takes patience
Overarching all of these qualities is PATIENCE! I have had clients who take pride in their impatience. Impatience is another word for unhappiness. And what that means instead of looking at what the impatience, the unhappiness is asking from you and that is to GROW, one wants to bypass it instead of listening to what its message is to them. People who have done or are doing their inner-work know that there is greatness in patience, the higher you go the more patience is required. Have you even gotten impatient cooking a souffle, a Thanksgiving turkey or making the perfect poached egg ? Need I say more?
They realize there are behaviors to change, risks to take, muscles to build, mindsets to reframe and stretching that must take place to reach their goals.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor Frankl
They know that that their inner and outer worlds must integrate if they are going to become all whom they were given life to be, and they are up to the challenge. Where they are when we start to work together will not get them to where they want to go, and I don’t go into detail about what is up ahead because sometimes it is very dark, it can be scary and yes, there are moments of happiness, excitement and joy and in the end my prayers are answered… they change in profound ways, they allow more of the leader within them to show-up.
The inner-gold you have control over
Change happens out there all the time but the change I am talking about today is the change within you. I am not talking about the changes that you don’t have control over – I am talking about inner-gold, the things you do have control over.
There are all these things going on around us we don’t have control over: the stock market goes up and down every day, the weather changes, and the seasons go from winter to spring. Farmers know when to plant and when to harvest. Life is all about cycles and we don’t have control over any of them.
I would like to tell you a story about where your gold is hiding. And some of you may not be interested in this but I know there are two or three of you out there who want to make BIG changes, BIG, HUGE changes in your life.
Owning what you want to change
I say I’m going to change, but I don’t because I don’t own it. Then there are other changes that are important to me, and many of them, once I owned them and commit to them they come to pass.
How bad do you want what you say you want? If you want it, you must change your behavior.
All great changes are preceded by chaos. – Deepak Chopra
If I was to boil it all down to the lowest denominator it is simply this… we must do what we don’t want to do. We must change our behaviors, the ones that no longer serve us. If every day I come home from work and the first thing I do is sit on the couch vs putting on my walking shoes, I am not going to lose the 15 pounds I keep lamenting about. If I say I want to practice mindfulness, so I don’t stay in high anxiety, that means getting up 20 minutes early instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again, and if I continue, then I succumb to living in high anxiety. If I know my boss is frustrated with me because I don’t get along with everyone on my team, and I don’t make any steps to forge new ways of interacting with my teammates, then things are not going to change in ways that will serve me. The change will probably come in ways that ‘wake me up’ and hopefully get my attention to areas of my life that need attention so that I can change and grow.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. – Anais Nin
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy
Being willing to change is a big step in and of itself. Knowing you’re willing to change and do things differently calms you down so you don’t feel like you must do it all at once. Once you say, “I am willing,” you can begin to breathe. If you say, “Oh, ok but I am not ready!” then stay with, “I am willing,” for a week a two.
Have a chat with yourself about commitment
Say: “I am not ready, that is too big a step for me and I can’t do it.”
Ask: “If you can’t do it, are you willing to do it?”
Answer: “Yes, I am willing to do, and I can live with that for a couple of weeks.”
Every day you tell yourself I am willing to do it and two weeks later… “I’m willing” shifts to “I can do this, I know I can do this” and sit with that for a while.
Just stay with it and see how it feels and when you feel the next shift. Not only “I can I do it, but I am going to do it, and this is how I am going to do it.”
And then sit with that for a while. Then! You say (even if you are not doing it yet), “I am doing it,” to see how that feels. You will feel an excitement within you and a “Where are my walking shoes?!” and you are pulling them out of the closet!
I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it. – Estée Lauder
What is One Thing?
I am not going to make you write it down, but I want you to think about ONE thing. Just one thing you know deep down is begging to be changed and if you did that one thing it would change your life for the better.
I don’t know if it has to do with your kids, or your spouse, or your job, but I want you to keep that in your head for the next two days. I want you to think about it and roll it around in your mind and see if you are at least willing.
Committing to change is hard and saying you are willing to change is a lot easier.
It is like sneaking up on the change that is begging to be changed, so I want you to think about the willingness process I just took you through and use this time to just be willing and say over and over “I am willing to change how I show up at meetings,” or “I am willing to listen more intently to my spouse when they are talking to me instead of look at my phone,” or “I am willing to be more calm with my child when they come to me and I am busy getting out a project.” I am willing to taking 5 or 10 minutes just to listen to their concern and be totally present with them, so they know I care. I am willing to do this.
Ready to move from willing to do this to I can do this? Email email@example.com with what you would like to work on.