By Kerstin Andlaw
For the first time in many years we have lost the illusion of certainty on a global level. Uncertainty is nothing new and has always been the constant, but planning the future and filling our calendars leads us to believe that we have control and certainty. Therefore, when the unexpected happens we attempt to gain control by controlling our circumstances, situation, and the people around us.
This is helpful to an extent in adapting to change and creating a new normal, but if we are to create new possibilities and lead through change powerfully we need to understand the internal process of adapting to change, which involves; acceptance, taking ownership, serving people, and being present.
Acceptance, which doesn’t mean agreeing or burying our heads in the sand, is to be ok with ‘what-is’ which is more powerful than being and thinking ‘what-if’. ‘What-if’ increases uncertainty as it is focused on the future in a passive way which increases overthinking and our minds tend to be busy enough already.
The more you resist ‘what-is’ the more we suffer. Or the way Werner Erhardt would express it: “Whatever you are pushing against, you are stuck to”.
Instead focusing on ‘What-is’ resides in the present moment where we can take action and have a level of control over.
Beyond accepting ‘what-is’ there are two ways of being in this world: one is being an owner, the other is being a victim. Someone in a victim state of mind will view life as happening to them, unfair, a burden and something to get through.
Counter that to someone with an owner state of mind that takes full responsibility for their experience of life, uses it is an energy source, to create, learn and grow from.
Acceptance is to be ok with ‘what-is’.
To better understand and if required shift your way of being, examine the language you use, not only when you communicate with others but most importantly the language you use in your internal dialog.
To lead powerfully through change we also need to understand the difference between serving and pleasing people. When you please people, be it the people you lead at the office or in your personal lif, you tend to take the path of least resistance. Keeping everyone happy and being part of the gang and being liked is a way of pleasing people.
When you serve people, you consider what would be most beneficial for that person which will also serve you and the company or community you are part of.
This isn’t necessarily the easiest path to take, but if you communicate clearly without leaving room for assumptions you enable people to step up, grow, develop and progress. This may mean: asking for more, saying no, backing off, or challenging people to do better, and take responsibility and ownership of their lives. Whatever it is, doing it in the most loving way possible means you get people onboard and lead powerfully through change.
One of the key qualities that enables you to take ownership, serve people and accept what is, is being present. Being fully present and engaged in the here and now, enables you to be ok with ‘what-is, know when you fall into pleasing instead of serving people, and know when you loose sight of your ability to create new possibilities.
Examine the language you use in your internal dialog.
Most importantly, adapting and leading through change starts with you, with who you are and with what works and makes sense to you. Your response to change will always be unique to you and your perspective of the world. Having the ability to shift your perspective to different points of view, to engage, be present and play full out with a fearless heart makes you a powerful leader.
Paying attention to these three attitudes described in this article creates the foundation from which to act and move forward more powerfully. You can do this internal work by becoming more aware of how you do what you do or by engaging with a professional coach to shed light onto your blind spots.
Either way, if you take this on board, the only question left to ask is – what do you want to create now?