Navigating change is one of the biggest challenges you will face in your life and leadership. Change means that one thing is ending and something else is about to start.
But letting go of what was can be difficult for some people. Even when change is welcome, it is still hard to let go of the things that are familiar and predictable. There is a lot of comfort to be found in predictability and who doesn’t like being comfortable. After all, the alternative only feels chaotic and out of control.
The problem is all the magic in life happens outside your comfort zone. As a result, I know that change always brings with it a treasure trove of possibility. Every THE END holds within it the promise of a ONCE UPON A TIME and I don’t mean the fairy tale kind.
I mean that every chapter or season that ends in your life or leadership has the potential to be followed by something extraordinary IF you’re willing to find it.
Here’s how you can unwrap the promise hiding in the chaos of change.
Embrace the uncertainty
“It is how we embrace uncertainty in our lives that leads to the great transformations of our souls” Brandon Trean
Uncertainty is a given when it comes to change. The sooner you embrace that and accept it for what it is, the easier this space will be for you.
Part of what makes endings so hard is the inability to plan for what might happen next given that everything is in a state of flux. So do what you can with what you know for sure and let go of the rest.
Work with the information you have and plan as much as you can with that information. You will have to stay flexible and be willing to adjust as you go along but looking at what you can control will help keep you out of overwhelm.
Notice the open window
“When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window” Marie from The Sound of Music
When a door closes, it’s all too easy to let regret or sorrow keep you in front of the closed door. You sit there either wishing it had not closed or hoping it will open up again.
A closed door is not the end of the journey. It is a sign that you have to course correct and go a different direction. Turn away from the closed door and find the open window.
It just might be the window of opportunity you’ve been waiting for but couldn’t see until now.
Don’t look back
“You can’t start a new chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last one”
Success in the future is only possible to the extent you can avoid rehashing the events of the past even, and probably especially, if they were good times. Many a company and leader have been derailed holding on to the “good ol’ days”.
I believe part of the reason this happens is a failure to grieve the loss that change brings.
It’s hard to think of grief in this scenario but if you realize that endings invariably mean something has been lost, you will see that grief is an appropriate emotion. But it is also an uncomfortable emotion and for some people, avoiding it is easier than feeling it.
I encourage you to take time to grieve the ending of what was so you can step more fully into what is to come for you and/or your team. It means celebrating all the good, taking the lessons learned with you, and knowing that it all goes with you into the future.
Being intentional with your grief can keep you from looking back.
The only constant in life is change. Learning how to navigate seasons of change will serve you well in leadership and in life in general.
Are there other things you think can help you as you deal with change? Share with me on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear from you.
Here’s to you rising into your greatness!
From my heart to yours,
If you are in a season of change or sense that one is coming and you need some support navigating this space, I would love to talk with you to see if our working together might be a good fit for you. Click here to schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with me today.
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