It’s been four years since I’ve last written a blog, despite knowing how much this soothes my mind, expands my heart, and is an expression of my soul. It’s surprising (or not) as in my last blog I wrote… it’s time to “Rethink Everything”, spend time writing a book and find new ways to support aligned causes.
Well, be careful what we say! During this time, I have experienced major life changes and, truthfully, it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. It certainly has made me rethink my patterns and perceptions, it’s offered new experiences (and content) for a book and opened new ways of supporting and serving the community.
In four years, I’ve relocated from South Australia to Queensland, confronted past and generational trauma, dealt with workplace bullying, set up new job opportunities, grew (and growing) on every level to be a mother (**pause for the miracle of life**), experienced heart break, moved house (for the sixth time), lost a loved one, and faced the possibility of major illness. So, just a little bit of change to deal with… not to mention the top 5 most stressful life events!
Why is change so hard?
Change is something different; whether welcomed or unwelcomed, it’s modifying or replacing our life experience; our patterns; our perceptions; our reality.
Something different introduces the unknown, and even if it’s exciting it can also be challenging.
Any unknown represents a lack of predictability, comfort, and control and increases feelings of anxiety and stress.
In fact, all types of emotions can arise. Check out The Process of Transition, by John Fisher, who outlines the stages people go through when faced with a personal transition. And let’s face it, every change is personal.
So why is change so hard?
Because our ability to manage change is directly related to our ability to understand and manage our mental and emotional well-being. And this concept, while known, is still relatively new to the western culture, especially in business.
What I’ve learnt about change management
The only constant in life is change. The key to success is:
- Focus on the WHY.
- Outline WHAT is needed.
- Explore HOW to navigate effectively.
Focus on the WHY
Connect to a higher vision or purpose; set intentions; ask ‘what does the future look like?’
“Where attention goes, energy flows”.James Redfield
In business, the WHY needs to be crystal clear to everyone and actively endorsed by the leadership team, especially before the commencement of design workshops. Otherwise, it’s just too easy and comfortable to slip into old ways of thinking and doing.
Outline WHAT is needed
Identify the change process; highlight areas of growth; build a community of support.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”Benjamin Franklin
In business, key stakeholders must work together to develop, endorse, and continuously review a customised, clear, and effective change management strategy, communication, business process change, and training plans. This provides a framework, a roadmap, and the context for change which is everything for the modern business.
Explore HOW to navigate effectively
The aim is acceptance, contribution and commitment. Acknowledge and name how you feel; choose calming strategies and develop new habits; celebrate the little things.
“Behind every negative emotion there is a need waiting to be fulfilled”Tamara Pflug
This has been a huge area of growth for me. Now that I am a mother, I have an even greater responsibility to lead by example. So, I invested in the Generation Mindful time in toolkit and created a calming corner. The Time-In ToolKit® playfully teaches kids how to navigate big emotions through social-emotional skill-building games. It’s working wonders for me and my inner child! I’m even observing, firsthand, that when we change our language, we change their behaviour.
In business, this is understanding The Process of Transition, or similar model, and establishing a variety of feedback loops and restorative actions. Promote responsibility and safety in being vulnerable, so that people feel seen and heard, and celebrate success. Ensure language, and behaviour, is consistently aligned to the WHY and WHAT.
If nothing else, just remember to embrace failure. When it comes to change, to understanding and managing our mental and emotional well-being, roadblocks and setbacks are inevitable. Learn, pivot, and go after your intentions with a new perspective.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”Albert Einstein
Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson
m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: firstname.lastname@example.org