Big Change Requires Big Support

In the midst of all the craziness going on in the world, many of us are trying to find ways to feel safe and in control, to do things the way we’ve always done them. But what I’ve been noticing lately among clients, colleagues, and friends is that the disruptions going on in the world at large are also happening in our lives.

Over the past couple weeks in particular, I’ve witnessed people being pushed out of their comfort zones and asked to change:

  • How they teach
  • How they communicate about their work
  • How they lead their team
  • How they run their organization
  • What they charge
  • What they believe they can and can’t do
  • And what expectations they hold about how things are “supposed” to be

Personally, I’m not a big fan of change. I LOVE consistency, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you that change is easy. Nope.

But I do know that when change comes flowing your way like a rushing river, you can try to stop it with a dam of frustration, anger, procrastination, or denial, but most likely it’s going to bust through that dam and take you where it wants you to go — to a bigger body of water.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s natural to want to shrink, isolate, and maybe even feel embarrassed that you haven’t been able to navigate these choppy waters on your own. Please get support. Find companions to ride along with you. You’re going to need people who can:

  1. Teach you new skills, and/or give you expert counsel
  2. Help you work through the emotions that come along with change

Getting help doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as reaching out to friends, taking Coursera classes, or getting a SCORE mentor.

I find that people in transition often lean towards one of these kinds of support and ignore the other. They may focus on taking classes, or working with expert mentors, but don’t address the emotional stuff that’s tripping them up. Or they put their energy into their emotional well-being and resist getting the practical skills and advice they need.

During times of big change, we need to nurture our insides and outsides, and paddle with companions on both sides of our boat as we float to the new body of water that waits for us.

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One thought on “Big Change Requires Big Support

  1. Tom Aageson says:

    A very timely article. Another support is your mentor. If you do not have a mentor, ask some one you trust who has experience and can be encouraging and instructive. It is also good to have a vision where you want to be and/or do.

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