Change sucks! Let’s be honest – most of us do not like change.
Even when it is necessary, most of us do not do well when change occurs in our lives – especially when it is a change that events or a person forces upon us.
I have been building my business for a few months now. In addition, I was also working a full-time job in a completely unrelated field. Though I was grateful for the “consistent” paycheck, this job was actually preventing me from going full-force in building my business because of the time constraints.
My making money was in the way of my making money.
And then the “unthinkable” happened – my day job ended abruptly just a few weeks ago.
The writing was on the wall – the industry in which I was employed was in higher education, and though I respect intellectual brilliance, the environment and the university’s mode of operation were at best, antiquated and outmoded (lovingly dubbed, “traditional”). I mean, my business is PR and publicity, with marketing techniques utilizing social media. “Social media” was not even born when this institution was started. I was starting to feel restless, and though the cushion of a paycheck felt safe, my PR creativity was not getting its fair share of juicing. My personal and business goals were falling by the wayside.
So there was a sudden parting of ways – mostly on the part of the university.
It was both a “hallelujah” and an “oh no!” moment. Though I knew I could not stand working at that job any longer, the swiftness of the rug getting pulled out from under me still gave me a jolt.
The changes that I had been hoping and praying for had come – but no exactly in the way I had “planned”. I wanted to get my business to a certain level and then comfortably quit my day job – but truth be told, I was complacent in my business-building efforts. The chicken-before-the-egg dilemma.
Entrepreneurs are said to be risk-takers. Hearts and souls with an “all-or-nothing” conviction. Playing it safe is not what wildly successful entrepreneurs and business people do.
Had I been playing it safe?
Like it or not, I have been forced to deal with this sudden change – a change completely out of my control. So the choice was to fight it – panic – or to embrace it – lean into it and not look back.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Winter Olympic Sport of ski jumping. In this sport, a skier starts at the top of a ramp and skis down a slope that abruptly ends. The skier must jump off the ramp and essentially fly and remain airborne for as long a distance as possible before he gracefully lands on safe snowy ground. However, in order to keep flying and fly further, the skier leans forward and toward the direction of his flight. The more diagonal and flat the skier leans forward, the farther he shoots through the air. He is a projectile, and he becomes more aerodynamic the more he leans into his flight.
This is how we ought to deal with changes that inevitably come our way. Rather than resist, get angry, or panic, like ski jumpers, we should lean into those changes. Basically just go with it!
Changes can not be undone, and once change starts to happen, you can not go back. Rather than try to desperately to go back to the way things used to be, allow the change to take you into its flow.
Like the ski jumper, leaning forward in an almost lying face-down state, when you lean into the change that is happening, you inevitably move forward into a new season of your life. You are propelled into a new place you would never have (voluntarily) stepped into had the unexpected change not occurred.
Rather than run away or cringe in fear, lean into a change and you will be surprised to gain benefits that you never thought.
1) Once you jump off the ramp, you are airborne. You are flying. You are soaring. The safety of the ground is gone. You have no choice but to fly and to keep flying.
2) Leaning into change causes you to move forward, and to keep moving forward. You are carried by momentum that can not be broken. The old methods are being done away with as you move toward a newer inevitable.
3) The more you lean forward, the longer the distance you cover. In a forward lean, there is no looking back – you can not, if you are to stay focused on what is ahead. You have to look at new prospects and new possibilities.
4) When you finally land on the ground – the shifting and discomfort come to a “soft landing”. You have moved from an “old place”, to a new and better place in life or in your business. It is here where you can look back and discover that you jumped ahead a greater distance than you would have had the “forced” change not taken you “over the edge”.
Change is necessary if you want your business (or life) to be different. Change takes us out of our comfort zones.
Embrace change. Lean into her. Change makes all the difference between good enough and the best.
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