The other day I was reminiscing with my mum about how I had a leash when I was a kid.
I was about two years old. I was a very out there child and would run wild all over the place. There were a few times I came close to running out onto busy roads, which, quite rightly, scared my mum to death who was heavily pregnant at the time. So I got a leash to hold me back. Being a leash kid saved my life. Not ashamed to say it.
Two parts to Change
What does this have to do with change? Well, I was thinking that it’s symbolic of how I feel and manage change now. I’m at a constant tug of war with change. A part of me runs ahead, excited and gleeful, happy at the prospect of newness. Simultaneously another part of me pulls back. Points out all the dangers, worries that the new landscape won’t be as good as before. That part of me is working hard to look out for roads ahead.
And it’s not wrong to do so. Change is big. Change means disruption, good and bad. But it’s an inevitable part of life and a stepping stone to the next thing, the next chapter of life, the next level. Nothing stays the same. If we were to stay the same, we’d never grow. We’d never progress.
One thing that does help is to explore the process of change. It can make it a lot easier to go with the flow once you’ve done this. So let’s take the leash as a metaphor for the process for change. Imagine that the leash is connecting two anchor points that are working together to achieve success. The parent represents strengths, wisdom, resources, past successes, values, and principles. The child represents imagination, visions, dreams, and goals. We don’t want anyone running out onto the road and ending up splat, so we have to take time to clarify these two anchor points based on our strengths and imagination. The best kind of walks (ask any dog!) is when the leash has some slack, it’s not taut and strained. We’re not playing tug of war.
How I approach change is to prepare myself with a positive picture before heading out on the venture. Even if the change is unexpected. If I can take a moment to reflect and adjust, I can consider how I want to approach the situation. This way I’m less likely to let a negative picture that’s usually heavy with fear take hold.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and overloaded by a new opportunity. This is where my Action Plan session can offer real value. For instance, a client who was torn in too many directions and wasn’t sure how to make head or tail of her to-do list said after our session that everything felt much more manageable. She was able to approach the change that her directions offered her in a positive light and really go for it applying all her strengths and resources. The leash was slack and she was able to get to her destination in a leisurely manner.
So how about you? How do you approach change? Or if you were also a leash kid – let me know! Would love to band together!