As my dear friend, Jenny Blake, often says, “If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.”
Change almost always has a ripple effect on other things and people. Some you expected and prepared for, others you didn’t. This is true even when you are choosing to make a change. And in my view, this is what makes the experience of change incredibly complex. Aimrite?!
It is why, after I have a conversation with a prospective coaching client, I send a follow-up email to summarize our conversation and to provide an overview of what they can expect from our coaching engagement. The below paragraph is from said email:
“A few things to keep in mind: The embedded “assess & evaluate” component is designed to help navigate and negotiate whatever resistance to change may surface. Because I know that making changes – even when you initiate it – can kick up some resistance.”
Well, let’s just say I recently had to swallow a bit of my own medicine. 🙂
Here’s what happened: Last month, I made the choice to work with Mike Ganino and Chloe DiVita, co-founders of The Mike Drop Method, to help me freshen up my signature talks. While I’ve worked with several business coaches over the years (still do), this was my first time hiring a public speaking coach.
After spending time over the last two years refining my private coaching practice and the back-office operations of my business, I was now ready to focus on the speaking arm of my business. Specifically, I wanted to elevate what I bring to the table – for the entities that hire me to speak and for those in the audience. And, I knew I’d benefit from an outside perspective.
I just didn’t count on it being as vulnerable and awkward as it’s been at times. Mostly when I’m doing my homework or “workshopping” the presentation’s storyline and flow.
Or, on it causing me to be as reflective as I’ve been about my relationship to change.
Change is or requires…
I’ve had several ahas these last three weeks. And since we all have to contend with change, I thought I’d share some of my ruminations in case it helps you navigate how you move through change in your life and business – especially when it is of your own choosing.
Because, change is or requires…
Just like I ask my clients to do pre-work and complete a questionnaire, so do Mike and Chloe. Much like I know my questionnaire can spark some complicated emotions and questions, so did theirs for me.
It’s like standing naked in front of a mirror looking at your reflection, but with someone you don’t know intimately standing beside you. Eventually, I embraced this discomfort. Because I knew, if I held back, I would “hurt” myself and diminish their ability to help me do what I hired them to do. But also: I knew I was safe – my discomfort wasn’t due to any potential of emotional danger.
I had my first paid speaking engagement in 1996, and often say I accidentally grew a thriving speaking business. 🙂 And for as much as I have a teachable spirit, it frequently bumps up against my striver spirit.
In case you can’t tell, yes, I was that “front of the classroom, first row kind of child.” So, I don’t really like it when I don’t get things right on the first try. Yet, here I am sitting in the discomfort of being an open book regarding my thought, design, and delivery process.
This requires digging deep and remembering my why and motivation. All the while allowing someone else “in” to see the unfinished “product.”
Change, at least the type I’m talking about, is about growth. It’s about giving birth to something that didn’t exist previously.
In my case, this has meant getting uncomfortable, challenging myself, stretching myself, and being willing to experiment. What’s helped me push through the frustration, fear, and stressful moments has been the recognition that if none of this is happening, then am I really doing something differently?
I was having a hard time letting go of how I did things.
Initially, I was getting in my own way because I was holding onto what has worked instead of making space for something different and better. At first, I wasn’t giving myself a chance to redefine what “what’s working” looks like. (Interesting since that’s why I embarked on this journey…)
This is a classic example of the change – desired or not – disrupting my sense of security because of what was familiar to me.
Something’s Gotta Change
The title of today’s piece came to me when I literally said to myself, “if you want to change, Jacquette, something’s gotta change.”
And here’s what’s interesting:
Each week I brace myself for the feedback Mike and Chloe will provide.
Each week, I implement it.
And each week, I am filled beyond measure with tremendous gratitude for their collaboration, and am affirmed in my decision to work with them.
I’ve given two talks since starting my work with them and submitted one proposal. The tweaks they’ve recommended have garnered incredible results – both in me and how I feel about what I’m producing and for me in terms of peoples’ responses to the experience I’ve created. Funny how that works, huh?
I am empathetic by nature. It’s part of why I’m good at what I do. But these last couple of weeks have been surreal; they’ve been the epitome of, “Oh, this is what my clients are experiencing.” 🙂
These recent weeks have reminded me of why you and I benefit from seeking thought partners. Especially when those partners help to spark our creativity and see possibilities we otherwise might not.
They’ve reminded me that when we revert back to the comfort of our old ways, we run the risk of losing the good from what we learned.
They’ve reminded me that change is a learning process filled with a smorgasbord that includes desire, motivation, frustration, fear, stress, discipline, and habits. Even a bit of fun.
What Mike and Chloe are doing for me, I endeavor to do for my clients.
I endeavor to do the same for you as someone who has taken the time to read my words today. Because, I know that making changes – even when you initiate it – can kick up some resistance.
When it happens (and notice I didn’t say “if”), pay attention to the emotions that surface, the resistance you encounter, and where you feel most vulnerable. Because embedded in those observations are signs for how to move forward so you can (a) better understand your relationship to change, and (b) experience the change you desire. And benefit from the amazing growth that comes with it!