I’m tired. Very tired… But much to my surprise, I’m also very happy. If you’re turning green with envy, or puce with revulsion, at the prospect of me sharing an unfeasibly upbeat success story, don’t worry. My rosy, if sleepy, glow is the result of some painful change over the last few years – and there’s more to come.
No, I don’t get a kick out of struggle and hardship! Instead, I feel pride at the change that I made happen (including ending a damaging relationship and buying my home). I’m also surprised at how well I adapted, eventually, to change that was unexpected or out of my control (including a bereavement, job loss, and the onset of middle age). And I’m grateful for the lucky breaks that life has given me, too (such as loving and wise friends, and a forward-thinking and supportive new employer).
Riding this roller coaster has taken so much nerve and determination, and produced such terror and excitement, that my veins must be running with adrenalin and cortisol. I really wouldn’t mind getting off for a breather… But that’s just not going to happen.
The lesson that I’ve learned is that living life to the full means experiencing, and ideally embracing, change. There’s simply no avoiding it. And that might mean tiny, daily adjustments to schedules and plans, occasional adoption of new habits and skills, or once-in-a-lifetime monumental upheavals of identity and purpose. It’s simply no use hanging on to everything familiar, whether good or bad – that will only create more pain and exhaustion. Instead, I need to develop a mindset of openness, curiosity and action in place of any lingering apathy, stubbornness or fear. And I must look after myself physically, mentally and emotionally to build my resilience.
I’ve also realized that organizations and teams can experience the same sense of shock, challenge and fatigue when change hits. But the good news is that they can prepare themselves similarly, too. It’s just more complicated to manage with more people involved! You can find out more with the help of our new infographic on Making Change Happen With Kotter’s 8-Step Model.
Meanwhile, I wonder… What change have you experienced, or prompted, yourself recently? How did it affect you and how did you manage it? I look forward to your comments in the section below.