- Who & Why?
Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2017’
Sometimes I feel mesmerized with the concept of “change”. I’m always doing my best to be self-aware of where I’m resistant to change and where I welcome, and adapt to, change.
Take my travel schedule. I was just on my way to Chicago last week for a 22 hour trip. I was set to arrive at 3:30pm and make it just in time to a reception at 5pm, followed by a group dinner.
However, my schedule didn’t have the same plans that I did for me. On my outbound flight trip to Chicago, we got delayed due to fog. Long story short, I didn’t make it to Chicago until 6pm and barely made it to my group dinner on time, let alone the reception beforehand.
As I was standing in the airport delayed, the amount of our delay kept changing: first we were 30 minutes delayed, then we were 45 minutes delayed, then we were an hour and 15 minutes delayed. We even had a “reverse-delay” as I call it: they shaved 5 minutes off our delayed take-off time!
I was very self-aware during the entire time I was standing at the airport monitoring all of these delays, including the final one in my favor by 5 minutes. I stopped and assessed my real choices in that moment. With each new delay, I could tell I had a choice to “accept” this new change in my travel schedule or resist it.
You’re probably wondering how I could have resisted being delayed each time it happened. It’s not like I could fly on my own without the airline. I suppose I could have gone to another airline in an attempt to fly sooner, but who really does that?
However, resistance in that moment would have looked like me getting upset and angry and then victimizing myself- “This always happens when I fly” or “Why me? I have to get to Chicago”.
Had I resisted, the outcome of the flight would not have changed- I flew when the airline told me I could. However had I resisted, the outcome of my experience would have been vastly different. I would have felt really out of control and angry.
In that moment, I had a choice to see the delays differently. How?
Instead of resisting the delays, I adapted and accepted the delays. I pulled out my laptop, got two hours of solid work done and ate some breakfast. I even had time to people watch and check the weather in Chicago. I felt productive and quiet content. Most importantly, I was not a victim and felt in control of my life and time. I was happy!
“Change” is defined in the dictionary as a noun meaning, “the act or instance of making or becoming different”. What this means for me is that when I’m faced with a change, I can see it as an opportunity to be different. Different is often scary, I know. However, in each moment of my life I have a choice to choose to see thing differently, be different and as a result, change and grow.
Choosing to be different in each moment you are presented with a change smacks of evolution, in my opinion. “Evolution” is defined in part as the process of growth and development.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- Where in your life are you fearful of change? Do you even know you are fearful?
- Where in your life are you resistant to anything new or different?
- Is this way of being really leaving you happy and evolved? Or are you fooling yourself by believing you are safe if you stay in your comfort zone and ignore/resist anything new?
- How will you know if something new could work for you if you don’t adapt and change and choose to see things differently for yourself? Do you want life to always be a mystery that passed you by or do you want to be courageous and try on something new and grow and develop?
By Sarah O’Rourke, guest blogger
Whether we know it or not, our fears and insecurities can keep us from truly connecting with others. We want to be known for who we are, and have confidence in our decisions. But how do we actually start to gain this confidence? How do we grow?
I remember stressing for weeks over confronting one of my roommates about the state of our shared kitchen towels. My roommate and I used them constantly, but no one seemed to be cleaning them. They were only towels, after all. It may seem like a small interaction now, but at the time it felt like the end of the world.
My avoidance of the confrontation made a common, apartment-life issue into a real problem.
This is how many hard confrontations happen. When it finally came time to discuss a hard topic, I found myself anxious and unable to communicate.
Here’s the one thing I found helpful. I found if I was vulnerable with my roommate, it made things easier. Approaching someone without vulnerability makes confrontation even more uncomfortable.
When we approach others with vulnerability, we put ourselves in a position of fear. But vulnerability can actually help us constructively confront others. We connect and just put it all out there and they sense our genuineness. Our self-confidence grows, as a result.
This is true in business and in life.
The same stressors that make confrontation difficult in our personal lives are present in business as well. When I was working to re-structure a writing tutor position, I noticed that we were having problems scheduling appointments. The problem was that our students were not able to work in a quiet environment on the first floor. This is especially problematic in tutoring, where you need the full attention of a student. But I felt intimidated by my manager. I seemed aggravated. But when I finally admitted that I was worried about something we shared, she met me in the middle. I made myself vulnerable with her, and she and I were able to brainstorm new ideas.
My manager approached me with later with the same problem, and our vulnerability was courageous. She owned her worries, and the next time I needed to fix a problem with our appointments, I approached her with the same humble courage. We agreed that our students needed their own room for appointments. By prioritizing both of our needs this way, she and I ensured our mutual success. Plus, it made us happy.
Fear and happiness lie at opposite ends of the same spectrum, and sometimes the scariest thing we can do is confront ourselves and be vulnerable and able to change. But owning and accepting your insecurities earns you a great deal of respect and increases your self-confidence, and allows you the room to grow.
Sarah O’Rourke was born and raised in San Diego and has a passion for art. She recently received her MBA from Point Loma Nazarene, and hopes to keep writing, drawing, and helping people tell their stories. She is an animal lover who will usually stop what she is doing to say hello to a cat or dog. She can be found by the beach, and is always looking for opportunities to learn something new.