During these times of unprecedented change, how can you “be the change you want to see in the world”? You may be wanting to initiate change in your family, community, workplace, your own business … the world. Where do you start?
A good place to start is with yourself. Do some inner exploration. Some useful questions are: “How do I typically respond to change? Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 – 1 being scares me to death and 10 being I thrive on it. Then ask yourself “How do I typically respond to a change that is imposed on me or comes out of the blue?” Rate yourself again on a scale from 1 to 10 and notice if there is any difference. It’s helpful to journal your responses to these questions.
Typically, we rate ourselves higher when we initiate or feel we have control over a change. When we feel it is imposed or comes “out of the blue” we often rate ourselves lower. That said many leaders thrive on change and you may be one of them.
Now ask yourself, “When I think about change what thoughts, words, emotions come up for me?”
You may also focus on a change that you are currently having to deal with and notice what thoughts, words or emotions come up for you. If there are some negative ones such as anger, resentment, fear … (which are natural), imagine each one as a rock in a knapsack on your back, feel the weight of them and then imagine releasing them all and having them all fall to the ground.
It is extremely important to identify negative feelings in our bodies, and to acknowledge and consciously release them, in order for us to move forward and embrace a change.
It is helpful to identify any old stories about change you may have learned from people close to you early in life who were trying to keep you safe. You may wish to rewrite your narrative around change and underpin it with a positive belief such as: “Embracing change is a creative process that opens me up to new possibilities.” Notice how that makes you feel.
Being self-aware of how you respond to change is important, as people close to you in your family, community, workplace … look up to you and learn from how you model and respond to change. Do you typically embrace or resist it?
What insights have you gotten from these exercises? I welcome your thoughts and comments below.
My younger self thrived on change but as I’ve grown older (or is it wiser 🙂 ) I prefer to understand the change I need to make before I embrace it from a place of integrity.
Hello Vatsala, That is an interesting observation about how you approached change when you were younger compared to now. I’m curious what tool or tools you use now to understand the change you need to make. Am always interested in learning what works for others.
Despite the major changes we’ve all undergone this past year, I haven’t given this much thought. But, as I read, I recognized my “inner control freak.” I do reasonably well on self-initiated change and am almost 100% resistent when that change comes from somewhere else. I’m not sure I like being a “my way or the highway” kinda gal — but I’m getting used to it.
Hi Andrea, Great insights! Thanks for sharing. I also do well with self-initiated change and not as well with change that comes “out of the blue”. That
said I’ve found when I reframe embracing change to be a creative process that opens me up to new possibilities, and do a number of mindset and body-centered coaching
exercises to release negative emotions and stories, I find embracing change much easier. I hope you find the exercises I’ve shared useful.