Change is around you every day. Friends move on. Colleagues get laid off. Relationships come to a close. The transition of maneuvering through change is where the real dance occurs. If you know the steps, your feet will carry you with fluidity and grace. If you do not, you will repeatedly stumble and possibly trample on others around you.
It is easy to fall into the "victim" mode when change arises. "Why is this happening to me again?" This way of thinking is like putting on shoes that you know are too tight and leaving them on even when they hurt. For you the dance is over. Your feet are blistered and bleeding. You may be managing people who are facing change who believe their lives are over too. Change the metaphor. All is not hopeless.
The dance isn't over. The last dance isn't even on the playlist. It's just time to change the band. The dancers are changing partners because the tempo is swinging in a different direction. Everyone enjoyed the party and the music of the past. You will always revel in the fulfilling experience it created and the value it brought to others and yourself. But the future holds a panacea of purpose. It's just to a new tune.
Cluster the situation of your change under a heading that makes it part of a bigger intent. Colleagues have been laid off. Mourn the loss of your friends not the evolution of the company. In this change lies an opportunity to explore areas that otherwise seemed off limits or out of site. Explore during the transition! Your marriage is over. Mourn the loss of the good times you had and the security you felt not the end of what had truly unraveled to an unfulfilling relationship. In change lies the chance to discover true love again. Be vulnerable in the transition. Mourn that you miss the daily moments with your children now that they have grown up and left the home not the fact that you now have to "find a new identity." In change lies the prospect of discovering underdeveloped interests that have lied dormant for years. Take risks of discovery in the transition.
Change is constant and will occur throughout your life. How you transition through the changes of your life will set you up to be able to handle and unforeseen challenge. Set short term goals for your transition. And watch what opens up before you.
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Mary Lee Gannon is the president of StartingOverNow.com - Transforming People and Organizations with Goals-to-Results. With more than 16 years of experience as a CEO of organizations with up to $26 million in assets, Mary Lee coaches individuals and organizations with a Goals-Accountability-Results system. Read testimonials from her clients. She is a graduate of The Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where she rose to the level of CEO to support her family. Areas of Specialty: Strategic Planning / Board Development / Executive Coaching / Healthcare / Public Relations / Meeting Facilitation / Leadership / Productivity / Life/Career Transition. Her book "Starting Over - 25 Rules for When You've Bottomed Out" is available in bookstores and from online booksellers.
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