I’ve been having many conversations lately with people in the midst of re-creating themselves. They are taking risks, trying new things, are excited about some of their new directions; however, they’re also butting up against the angst of change.
In step #5 of my 7 1/2 Steps to Transcend the Status Quo, I say: Get a plan for uncertainty. It’s the times of not knowing what to do, how to do it, when to do it, why to do it .. that get us in the hot seat. You see, when involved in change, we are way outside our comfort zone. It seems it would be so much easier to return to the space of doing what we already know, even though it’s not fulfilling or isn’t working. I mean, right? AT least with the old, we know what to expect, we’re not caught off guard. Example: If we have a job and can depend on a steady income, it’s easier to not leave than to risk NOT making money for a bit while we look for or try something different. If we live in a decent place in a nice neighborhood, in a nice city, in a nice state and we know a lot of people … even if we’re bored there, we want to stay, because … if we move someplace else.. what might it be like? Right?
Making a change, shifting a behavior involves a huge learning curve. We are in uncharted waters. Say you always worked in a company and now you’re the boss of your own company. You have to do it all and you probably don’t know how to do it all. You could hire help, but maybe you can’t afford to yet… so, the learning curve.
Let’s zoom down now into the emotional side. There’s the practical side .. the decision making side, weighing the pros and cons of a change. Say you decide you’re close to doing it OR you’ve already made the shift. Here’s what happens:
On the one side, you’re feeling:
• Difficulty in accepting help or asking for it
• A Sense of righteousness … e.g. “I know what I’m talking about, you can’t tell, etc”
• Impatience — things aren’t happening fast enough.
Sound familiar? It certainly does to me. That about sums up my negative side or the challenging side of my personality.
However, on the other side, there are some more useful ways to be or feel.
• Be authentic/ humble
• Be passionate
• Be open
• Ask for what you need and be willing to accept it
• Be vulnerable
• Be truthful
• Be optimisitc
• Be CLEAR about your goals
Do you have some of these ways of being? I do.
In a recent conversation with a wonderful mentor of mine, she challenged me to look at both sides of my schizophrenic self. I’m all of this stuff.
I’m incredibly independent, driven, a bit demanding at times, self-righteous, impatient .. and I’m incredibly fearful at times.
However, I also am all of the things on the second list.
In our conversation, we determined that all I have to do when I’m in the space of the first list is CHOOSE to shift to my other ways of being.
In a moment, when fearful, I can CHOOSE to be vulnerable .. that gives me more choice: I can stay with the fear, and cry and curl up and vent (sometimes very useful) … OR I can choose to be optimistic, remember how passionate I am and ask for help.
The way through (there is no “way out”) .. is to CHOOSE in the moment how you want to be. Try it on, see if it works.
Reinvention is not easy, but it is very rewarding. Remember what I often say:
“Don’t die with your dreams inside you.” … take on the life, job, relationship, etc that you want … have it your way.
Have a great weekend.