Personal Mastery

Learning the ‘Change/ing’ thing

I have been through several changes (work, home, etc.) in the last two months. There were many shifts, many adjustments, many exchanges, many thoughts, feelings, and reflections, and overall, a lot of re-organizing and re-focusing of my life in general.

For me these changes were not all easy ones to do, but a logical and very natural step further, in my professional and personal life. They are just the outside reflection of the inside job I have done in the last few years. Although I expected there would be certain reactions from people around me, it still caught me off guard, especially how many of them were surprised, and some were even confused with my decisions or that I had done what I had. Many were very happy with it, but to be honest, they were also more prepared for these changes to happen. However, many of the latter could not hide some unspoken fears and questions about how I will…. Interesting…to observe, acknowledge, and process. A lesson of interdependence, connection, and a ‘freedom-power’ relation reality.

As I said I was not prepared for so many ‘surprised’, ‘shocked’, and ‘what, how, …I mean…’ in my working environment, or people knowing me mainly through work. Responses like ‘How is this possible, if you are always so engaged, and so into the job…’, or ‘We are in a shock here, we did not expect this, did anything happen, was anything wrong, I hope it is not because we…is it a health issue?’ or ‘why now when you have done already so much, and you could enjoy what you have already accomplished, now someone else will take what you have created…’ or ‘that was a shocker, and not a pleasant one, but I am sure you thought about it and I wish you all the best…’ etc. If I generalize these responses, they sound like something needs to be wrong to step down from your position for example, and move on in your life and experience something else. Like one should not be so engaged in his/her current job if he/she is not planning to stay in the organization. Like people would need some more time to prepare for someone else’s change to happen. Or maybe people just need to be reassured that it is not because of them and that we are still okay. Or many in my case just wanted to make sure that this is a good choice for me, then they can accept it. All good. All learning material.

It is interesting how we people (re)act, with good intentions though. I wonder now when reflecting, do we usually notice changes by others when they are more or less done, complete with? And do we need actual outside proof that a change is happening or has happened, to respond, or better, if possible, to embrace it? How much is there in those ‘trying to be supportive’ responses us, our fears, our projections, and our questions, and not just an innocent or good intended observation in an attempt to support the other? Do we support each other enough and properly, or do we, with good intentions of course, put some additional burden and pressure on people who are already going through a lot when facing their ‘big’ changes – challenges?

I read somewhere that a change requires a courageous heart. It takes a lot of courage also to stay ‘in the change’. There are so many distractions, help, offers, and opinions on the way which seem like possible shortcuts and convenient means to wipe out all the discomfort when going through our change. But actually, you realize, eventually, that you develop some kind of a magical secret muscle when going through the change process, and persevere, and no matter what you keep on. There was a good reason to start this process anyway, and there is also a good one to complete it.

Looking back, all in all, I feel deep gratitude. I thought I had learned my lessons on these particular issues where I made the changes before and when taking the leap, but the finest lessons and insights came afterward. When I was finishing my tasks, prepared the report to transfer, took the ‘professional head’ down, and just be Tanja. When I was cleaning my apartment moving things to create my new home in the new location, processing all the memories, experiences, and feelings, and at the same time envisioning the next period in my life. When I was confronting people and explaining that it is time for me, that I am moving on, and not postponing my professional coaching practice anymore, etc..

It was a phase of additional clearing and cleaning of what was left to be completed and released, and integrating the new. It was a learning lesson on how to let go, and at the same time to embrace the change/s. How to release the control of how it should be, and be more focused on how I responded. It was a time for showing up for myself powerfully, and not excluding others from this/my process. It was about reinventing and embodying the new me. Many memories, experiences, and feelings came up, and it was for a reason. To make it all worthwhile, all the effort, all the learning, all the ups and downs so far, all relationships and experiences that co-created my life so far. They all brought me here, where and as I am now, and they are giving me exactly what I need now to move on.

There was a short period when things were so clear that I could almost touch the shifting point. A feeling of courage, freedom, and possibility/ies. So powerful, yet so fragile. It soon began to roll on, facing me with new challenges at my new level, new phase, new…I wish it was longer, this period, that I could just be, relaxing and reflecting some more, since it took quite some energy from me to realize it. But it is not working that way. You can instead slow down to notice, to be more intentional, to keep creating with more quality, more content, and with more you in it.

I truly believe that we do not need a title to be leaders, or anyone’s permission to make a difference in our lives and to contribute our best to the world around us. I encourage you to make changes, many of them, and to celebrate them, with your head high up and your heart wide open. Keep changing, keep learning, keep growing, keep moving, keep changing the game, and keep contributing your best.