BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S WRONG.
There’s a lot of change going on these days. The impact of change in management, lay-offs, and the nature of our reality is such that essentially we must learn how to be more adaptable and agile, to navigate change without burning out. If you know me, you know I’m all about getting the tools to navigate the challenges we face. However, sometimes change also means we have to make a difficult decision.
We often stay in relationships and work-places, even when we are not happy, because change is daunting, uncomfortable, and just simply not easy. We might even wish for change, but are not taking action to create it.
We’ve been talking about how to survive and solve toxic culture and reality is sometimes the choice to leave is difficult to make, but one must. I burned out in a toxic culture, I didn’t leave, I stayed thinking I just had to figure out how to work better. I had to figure out how to do more. Essentially I was miserable. I thought I was the problem (which often happens in a toxic culture) and I didn’t have the guts to decide to change, because I had already been going through so much change – I’d recently gotten divorced, moved, and made the huge decision to close my business to join my client as an Exec VP. So I stayed.
Until they fired me because my mom died and I had to be the care-giver for my dad. Yup… I had to figure out how to get comfortable with change once again.
CHANGE HAPPENS AND THEN WE TAKE CHARGE.
pursue. It’s a bit of a paradox as we want things to change, but we don’t always want to change. The discomfort of change can hold some of us back as it triggers our insecurities and imposter syndrome.
The challenge is that we humans like to know what’s coming our way. However, the reality of life is that we often don’t. This is not always easy to accept, but to not end up in survival mode when change comes knocking, we must learn to be more comfortable with not knowing. We must learn to pause and get curious and take the steps we need to bridge the gap between where we are now and where we are going. Without curiosity, that gap between now and the future can feel overwhelming and scary. The key is to focus on what we hope to achieve and ask what we need to make it work.
Change is often seen as disruptive but it’s important to remember that so is innovation. So what if we could learn how to use change in a more constructive way by using Power-Pausing and asking questions, using curiosity and courage to get to the clarity that gives us the confidence to create?
TURNING CHANGE INTO OPPORTUNITY
Change is considered the most stressful aspect of our lives.
When I was 26 years old and I’d just arrived in the US, I had left my family, career, and everything I knew behind to follow my new husband to New York. But with all the uncertainty of reestablishing myself in a new country and not being able to find a job that matched the career I left behind, I began doubting the choices I had made. At the time, it felt the loss of all of my hopes, dreams, plans, and most significantly, the loss of what I considered my identity.
What brought me out of that pothole though, was asking myself questions that helped me reclaim my curiosity and courage. It’s important to recognize that change presents an opportunity to take the steps to reclaim more agency over our work-life quality and see this moment in time as an opportunity for growth and transformation.
TURNING DISCOMFORT INTO COMFORT
No matter how we look at it, change is growth. Change is an ending of what we know and the beginning of what we learn. There’s a saying that change is to become comfortable with discomfort. It’s true. And it’s also how we reclaim agency.
When we face something new that’s not welcome, discomfort takes over. The discomfort persists until the new becomes familiar. We often react to this by working harder and faster. On the flip side, when we desire a certain change, we can end up making rushed decisions to get what we want sooner.
Both situations could use a Power-Pause between the trigger and the reaction so that we can allow the discomfort to inform us and ask the questions that help us navigate change.
CHANGE THE QUESTION, CHANGE THE OUTCOME
To help us navigate change, it’s important that we begin by focusing on the process of change rather than getting wrapped up in the end result. This way we can start plotting the map, getting the tools, and securing the steps we need to take.
A growth mindset is to stay open to new and relevant information while also learning to let go of what we know. Can you be willing to not know for just a little longer instead of doing what feels safe and comfortable? Can you pause for just a little longer and ask more questions so that you can use the power of curiosity to make sure you solve the right problem and find new ways of solving old problems?
It’s essential for all of us—whether we’re in a creative/innovative field, production, customer service or sales, or whether we’re entrepreneurs or leaders—to learn how to harness change through curiosity so that we can grow.
The key to unlocking positive change is to use our “intention to fuel our attention” as it shifts us out of the mindset of looking for answers and into one where we begin asking ourselves, and each other, the questions that help us think better.
When we pause and ask questions that focus on what we need we can reclaim agency over the changes we are facing, we can harness the power of curiosity, clarity, and courage.