I’d like to petition for a permanent shift in perspective among the human race. So often as a coach I hear, “I just don’t like change.” Makes total sense! You were humming along doing really well at something. Then BAM! Some catalyst rocked your whole world. Now you’re standing in some abyss of unknown and you’re not a fan. Of course you don’t like it. You’re in a position to learn something new, which often brings with it self-consciousness, resistance, and a myriad of other thoughts and emotions that can be challenging to manage.
Here’s my petition for the shift. It’s not the catalyst or change that’s the challenge. It’s where you ended up that’s eliciting feelings of discomfort, uneasiness, maybe even some shame mixed with anger and resentment.
When’s the last time you experienced a major change?
Think hard. (Too soon?)
The last 10 weeks have been a complete and utter cluster. Only a certain few privileged individuals saw it coming, (again, too soon?) so of course when it hit the general public we were understandably thinking and even saying, (in the presence of our children) “What in the literal *%#!?” But here’s the thing. Change surrounds us at every minute of the day. We can’t escape it. In addition to death and taxes, it’s the other major constant. Unless you’re a weatherman named Phil, your days are never remotely the same.
So it wasn’t the catalyst of our respective government officials saying kids won’t go to school, business need to close, and you need to stay home. It was the environment that was created as a result that we weren’t prepared to handle. And it makes TOTAL SENSE we all lost our respective minds and hearts in the immediate aftermath of those announcements. And then again when the reality of our new normals really settled in. Every working parent across the globe screamed a collective, “I”m sorry, I’m supposed to sustain what now? You want me to work full time and teach my children whatever the hell they were learning in school? Yeah, ok.”
So where do we go from here?
If change isn’t the issue, how do we effectively manage new normals? By training our adaptability and resiliency muscles. They’re a combo pack. You can’t have one without the other. Adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions, and resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly. To most effectively manage the catalysts of change, both are required.
For years, I’ve talked about the importance of adaptability and resilience as top priorities for personal development – no matter your role, title, or any other demographic. And they often come up in every coaching session. They’re the essence of life, no? No matter what you want – be it more love, compassion, joy, wealth, health – adaptability and resilience are #1 and #2 for getting there.
So how can you build adaptability and resiliency muscles?
- Hit the mental and emotional gym: Since change is constant, the opportunities to train for adaptability and resilience are limitless. And like the actual gym, repeated effective movements build muscle the quickest. Since the Covid catalyst changed so much of our normal lives, think back to an adjustment you handled well. What mental or emotional exercises did you employ to respond to the new normal? Now shift to an adjustment you didn’t handle well. What was the difference? What was the resistance to that specific new normal? How can you apply what you did from what went well to what didn’t?
- Recognize the importance of easy or rest days: Every [effective] exercise routine requires light or off days. They allows muscles to recover, which make them stronger in the long run. The same goes for mindset shifts. Take a break. Give yourself some grace. Either don’t actively work on it or consciously experience a setback in your progress. Have you ever gone to the actual gym and not been able to lift what you did 2 days ago? Yes! It happens. So what do you do? You pick up lighter weights to do some movement, and you come back a few days later being able to lift way more than you thought you could.
- Track your progress: Keep a journal or scribble notes in your phone or tablet. What went well today? What didn’t? What are your thoughts? Emotions? What are they telling you? Consciously reflecting on what goes through your heart and mind are pretty damn powerful. Clients often tell me what they write during reflection exercises actually surprises them! They often tell me their “true” consciousness comes out when they write something completely out of the blue and it makes complete sense! They just let it flow without fear of judgment or ridicule (since no one will ever see it) and the most profound realizations surface.
You’re more powerful than you know. You were born innately super with everything you could possibly need in order to achieve what you want in this world. Expand your human consciousness to see your inner super hero. You’ve made it this far … clearly you’ve mastered some level of adaptability and resiliency.