Staying Resilient In Uncertain And Changing TimesJan 30, 2019
Change Is Difficult
Change or the prospect of it is challenging. It causes stress and drains your energy. And can bring up a lot of negative emotions.
It is of course worse when a change you don’t want is imposed on you. But even a positive change you have chosen has its moments. As I am currently learning as part of the process of buying a new home!
When people say to me ‘I have completely mastered change and I am fine with it’. I usually respond: ‘Maybe you haven’t stretched far enough’.
Because any change that pushes you far enough out of your comfort zone, will always bring up emotions.
Uncertainty Is Particularly Challenging
Uncertainty is particularly difficult as it can drag on. And we keep flipping from being optimistic to being fearful during the wait.
We can still nevertheless get prepared.
I know two people who have sailed the Atlantic Ocean. They were both hoping for beautiful blue skies. But they didn't know what they would encounter. They were facing uncertainty - the life or death kind.
So they got prepared. They strengthened their navigation skills. They shored up their boat. And even though at one point it felt like the whole Atlantic Ocean was pouring into their boat... they made it.
Get Ready For The Voyage
I have worked with a lot in organisations supporting people navigating the emotional side of change. So here are the 3 things people have found the most useful:
1. Understand what the emotions of change are really telling you.
In the process of change the mix of emotions are signposts.
Emotions are messengers towards what you need to flourish. Sometimes they warn you that you are facing a threat. And other times that you need to take action to create something that is good for you.
Change is an ending and a new beginning. Yes you may loose things that are important to you. But it is also an opportunity to create something new. So take the time to grieve and listen inside.
What are your emotions telling you? What do you need to grieve? What would you like to create out of this? What is your next level of your flourishing? And what do you need to birth it?
2. Break the stress cycle and consciouly manage your energy.
Change is exhausting - especially as change is now becoming a way of life. And we may be going through more than one change at the same time.
So your usual self-care routine will probably not be enough to give you the energy you need. It is important to upgrade your way of taking care of yourself and filling up your energy tanks. So consciously take some extra recharge and reflection time.
I saw a TEDTalk this morning that says how important it is for our creativity to spend time doing nothing, daydreaming or doing boring tasks. This is when our brain finds solutions for the next stage of our life. So integrate as well as extra self-care time, time to let your brain wander...
What do you really need to do for yourself today that will make the difference? I give you permission to do it :)
3. Take the time to reflect on your real potential and the real value add that you bring.
Change challenges the external structures of our life.
One of the reasons it is stressful is because we often get our sense of inner safety from these structures. So when they wobble so do we. For example we feel safe because we have a stable job. Rather than feeling safe because we are truly confident in our core talents and gifts.
Sometimes it also affects our sense of our own value. For example we associate our value with our job title and whether we are kept on in a role. Rather than from being really comfortable with who we are. Whatever others think.
So when the external props go, we feel shaken to the core.
As an antidote, do the work to map out your real potential. Update your CV to catch up with who you have become. And activate your network so that new opportunities have a way of flowing towards you.
Until next time,
Louise Le Gat is an experienced facilitator, retreat leader and executive coach, and creator of the ‘Positive Energy Leaders’ Journey. She helps leaders who are at a pivotal moment in their careers get inspired, align to their real purpose and step into their true leadership.
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