Ready for Change?
Don't know about you - but I've been going through a shift this year – and it's not an easy thing to deal with.
While I'm going through change I feel stuck. I compare myself to others, and question whether I am moving ahead like I 'should' be.
I've been worked out a solution of sorts - and I thought I'd share it with you, in case you've been going through a change too.
This is what I do:
- I suspend the need to be doing the 'right thing,' and I let go of the expectation that I must always be 'successful' at any given moment.
- I remind myself that 'success' is completely subjective, and is not instantaneous, but is a journey.
- I remember that change is ‘success’ itself, because I am letting go of previous ways of thinking, and opening up to new ones.
- I remember that I am working on the business (in this case me) so I can deliver a better service.
But it’s hard to accept this when you’re in the middle of change. There you are flying along in a certain direction and all of a sudden - boom! You're derailed. You are forced to stop, regroup, and recalibrate what you are doing. If the shift is big enough, it may force you to question who on earth you really are. That's the power of change.
Change is uncomfortable, but I believe it also signals a change for the better. I can speak from experience, as I’ve been through a few ‘shifts’ myself over the past few years.
How do you deal with change?
One of the things I've done over the past few weeks is to step back from the limelight. That’s not easy if you’re running a business, and your role is to connect with people. It’s harder still when you’re a communicator by nature. The solution I’ve found is to switch from communicating with others to communicating with self, by recording my thoughts in a dairy to observe what is coming to me as I go through the transition.
How do you know when you’re in transition?
You feel lower self-confidence, fear, frustration that I'm not getting to where I need to. And of course when I say ‘need to’ it’s completely arbitrary - it's a judgement call from my ego, based on my assumptions of what others might think. And of course the ego is jumping at shadows here.
And of course it’s completely irrelevant what others might think – because we are all on different paths to one another. We get sucked into this concept of as ‘universal success path,’ but there is no such thing. We’re all moving at different speeds, we’re all calibrated differently, we’re all heading in different directions. So we have to learn to let go of this judgement that says, “I'm not where I should be.”
The Power of Now.
The most precious commodity we have as human beings is now. It’s hard to see, because we get sucked into the whole concept of ‘time’ - on time, in time, and out of time. We constantly live our lives in the past or in the future. We are either thinking about something that happened in the past, or we are planning for the future, and we miss the now.
When asked what surprised him most about humanity The Dalai Lama said:
“He sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
But when we embrace the now and we stop and observe what’s going on around us, we realise what we really have in front of us. This allows us to see that we actually have everything we need at that particular moment.
We discussed this idea of ‘being in the now’ at my fortnightly business networking group this week. One of my colleagues explained his Zen Meditation practice has taught him to be totally in the moment, and he uses this to listen to his customers in a new way. Instead half-listening and thinking about a solution as the person is talking, he really listens – and this gives him deeper insights. The recommendations he makes for his clients are therefore much more relevant, because he really understands their needs.
When we embrace the now we see things in their true light. I was out for a walk the other day near my local beach, thinking about how to be more in the now. I stopped to look at this beautiful purple flower – it was so striking that I took a photo with my phone. If I hadn’t been in this frame of mind that says ‘now is precious,’ I would have walked straight past and missed it. I thought ‘wow, that’s really special – it’s so beautiful, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could create such a thing of beauty that nature does so naturally.”
One of the great antidotes to the fear of being in change and transition, is the power of now. It gives us the ability to stop and observe what you're doing, why we are doing it, and how we are feeling. Because we so rarely stop and observe in our busy lives
So that's my gift for you today - to stop, look, listen and observe.
If you are going through transition, and you are feeling unsettled, it will really bring you back to your centre. It will help you stop worrying about where you ‘should’ be going, and allow you to see where you are now – and how potent and powerful that is.
From there you can leapfrog on to the next stage of your development – reenergised, full of wonder of what you have, and what you are capable of. And this will help stop you from comparing yourself to others, because you realise that you are already perfect, already unique, and already where you are supposed to be.
It takes the now to see that - and to accept it.