Ocean Updates & the Inner Game of Change
Thank you for reaching out and encouraging the restart of these weekly updates. But you’ll see no more long lists of news items: While shocking headlines can help people to wake up, they can create feelings of powerlessness and fear that undermine us and do little to create actual change. Be mindful of what you allow into your inner ecosystem…
The Health of your Inner Eco-system.
Waves of grief have been rolling through this community this month. It’s powerful emotions like this that can stop you from doing what you are meant to do. My goal in 2019 is to spotlight tools and resources that help you manage your inner ecosystem. Change is an inside job; To be the change you want to see in the world requires building your inner capacity to navigate these turbulent times.
The Zone Where the Magic Happens
The emotional roller coaster that accompanies change is rarely talked about. (So Iet’s go THERE.) Change registers a deep emotional impact as it speeds up, takes unexpected twists and turns and pulls us out of our comfort zones. But it’s in the space beyond the comfort zone where we create the world we want. At this pivotal point on this planet, we need to address our inner reality and develop our emotional resilience to function in the unknown – where the magic happens.
The Business of Change
Organizations look to Business Schools to understand change. B Schools make a lot of money researching and teaching us its how-to’s. Change management strategy was at the core of my MBA. We dived deep into real life cases, and focused on the systems, processes and outcomes of implementing change. It’s a clearly defined process that includes planning, implementing and sustaining change to reach success. What could possibly go wrong???
They don’t teach you THIS in Business School.
We get the strategies and processes in place as per change protocol, and it’s all good, until the people show up. What to do with the passive resistors and the anti-changemakers? How do we take action when our confidence is wavering? How do we pick ourselves up when things fall apart? B Schools fall short when it comes to teaching the emotional intelligence required to lead positive change.
We’re Not in Case Study Land Any More.
Change is personal. Egos get ugly. Emotions run high. Change triggers fear for the future and the unknown. Circumstances seem beyond our control. As we are catapulted out of our comfort zone, don’t expect rational behavior. In this place, fear is natural but we aren’t told this, or taught how to deal with it. Stress must be addressed or the project AND our personal health are at risk.
Change and the Inner Game.
Twenty years ago psychologist John M. Fisher presented the Process of Transition to help businesses understand change (possibly because B-Schools launch grads who are notoriously ill-equipped to manage change). Fisher’s POT theory has become a go-to to help people learn the inner game of change.
The POT Curve (below) illustrates how we emotionally respond to change (much of it is subconscious) as we pass through various phases of transition. When change is happening, people are spread along the curve: Some people get stuck, others skip forward or fall back, some bail and still others scoot along to acceptance and exploring ways forward. Take a look. Where are you right now on this curve?
Grief and Change Go Hand-in-Hand
Interestingly, Fisher’s change theory is based on earlier studies by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (author of the book On Death and Dying) who identified various stages of grief. We are dealing with great loss right now. In order to accept change and move forward, we must accept loss and grieve for what was. (FYI: Whenever you feel the need to cry, go for it. Crying is a healing response that moves out the blocked energy of grief. Crying helps us function.)
The Secret to Being Outside Your Comfort Zone.
Fisher’s Curve shows the states of mind to expect during this time of change. Our emotions are merely clues to where we are on this journey;Fisher’s Curve helps us to identify the specific emotion that is blocking us from the move forward. Addressing the phases of this emotional roller coaster allows us to function well outside the comfort zone – where we can make the magic happen.
Feel Better Do Better
Your personal power and impact lie in your understanding of the emotional side of change. Change is an inside job. You have the power to choose how you want to feel and think. Your conscious ability to create your inner state of mind will empower you to take right action in the outer world. When your mind is calm, the way becomes clear.
So Much Ocean Love,
– Laurie J. Wilson, Blue Ocean Network