Create Your Story
As individuals, we are often creatures of habit. We tend to do things, the way we have always done things, and it is common for us to think we are the sum total of what we have accomplished to date. Usually, it is a fear of change that keeps us cinched in the status quo. Most people are resistant to change because change takes us out of our comfort zone. That place -- good or bad -- where we know things are predictable. The comfort of monotony is often stronger than conquering fear of the unknown.
This thinking can lead to a cycle of predictability and falling into the trap of rewriting the same chapter of our story over and over again. The good news is that changing our perspective can support us to change our habits, and help us begin to write a new and improved storyline for our lives.
Spring is a great time to set our intentions and look for ways to make positive changes. This month our Balance and Inspiration pages will be filled with ideas to encourage clarity of thought, and help inspire you to begin your journey.
Let's Get Started...
1) Adopt an Attitude of Mindfulness:
Begin to think about the storyline of your life from the outside looking in, rather than from the inside looking out.
Consider what story you would like to read a year from now. Ponder and write down what makes you happy, or unhappy, and what your desired outcomes would be if you, or someone else, was reading your chapters.
2) Identify the Type of Change:
There are essentially two kinds of change: planned and unplanned.
Planned change is a conscious choice or decision. This might include taking a trip, planning to have children, changing your career, moving house, getting your driver’s license, volunteering, or deciding to layoff on the pizza and bulk up on kale salads.
Unplanned or unforeseen change is an unexpected event or consequence of a circumstance. This might include illness, accident, injury, divorce, or a layoff. It also might include falling in love, finding a best friend, or discovering a new career path or passion.
Identifying what type of change is appearing, or will appear in your storyline, can help you navigate it.
3) Acknowledge Your Fears:
Fear of the unknown is usually a big barrier to change.
Most individuals resist change and put up barriers to it because they are afraid of it. How often have you heard someone say “I hate change”? That’s because most people do. As my friend Peter Drucker once said: "Nobody likes a change except a wet baby." Worry about what will, or will not happen, can sometimes paralyze decisionmaking and lead to negative behaviours. Acknowledging your fears and resistance to switching things up, or things being switched up on you, is a great way to move towards a more positive mindset and new direction in your life.
4) Take STOC of the situation:
A STOC is an environmental scan of the big picture. It is listing the STRENGTHS, THREATS, OPPORTUNITIES, and CHALLENGES of a situation. Take for example, experiencing a job-loss or lay-off. For most of us, the first thought is how will I manage financially, however, there is more to consider when considering unplanned change:
STRENGTHS: The lay-off allows you to consider other life and career options;
THREATS: Coping with temporary or long-term income loss;
OPPORTUNITIES: This game-changer may enable you to have extra time with family and the ability to pursue a career or passion you have always dreamed of;
CHALLENGE: Taking stock of your resources, and balancing a change in income with your desires.
Whether you are contemplating a planned change, or have been thrown into a situation beyond your control, completing a STOC for your storyline is a productive way to help you find the clarity of thought you need to make important decisions and navigate curveballs out of left field.
5) Work SMARTER not HARDER:
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the storyline of our lives. Making changes, or responding to unplanned change is like going through one continuous AA meeting - you need to approach it one day at a time.
Ensure your objectives are:
Timely, and above all...
Finally, we're all in this together. Stay tuned for more tips to improve your storyline and best wishes for a super awesome year