I was reminded of the power of mindful change as an element of personal and professional growth as I was putting the finishing touches on a presentation for an upcoming reinvention program.
I was thrown a personal “curveball”, a baseball term for those unfamiliar with American sports, adding another layer of complexity to the reinvention work that I'm helping others with, along with my own reinvention cycle (you might remember that I’m a two-year “marker” person—my Optimum Change Cycle is two years—which means that I begin the reinvention process half-way through my OCC).
The practical aspects of mindful change hit home with all the cha-cha-changes going on!
Mindful Change and the Reinvention Lifecycle
Did you know that mindful change is foundational for any reinvention that you’re considering? No one goes through a personal reinvention in a bell jar. Mindful change during a reinvention incorporates both strategies and self-care.
In my own reinvention blueprint, mindful change has its own timeline and process steps that help you to manage the ebb and flow of expected change during your reinvention.
Awareness of the timeline and emotional milestones along the way—when can you expect emotional fluctuations and “tugs” and how do you build a support net for yourself during peak emotional times—are important aspects of self-care strategies.
But a blueprint also helps you to identify and prepare for potential external changes that could impact your personal reinvention, changes requiring you to pivot and adjust your strategies and reinvention plans.
Mindful change creates respectful awareness of the changes that you’re initiating. Intentional decisions to change your life means that you’re mindful of the possible consequences associated with your decision and you accept this responsibility.
In other words, you walk into the impending change fully aware—you don't run from it or passively side-step it. You embrace your decision to change.
Although mindful change doesn't prevent us from dodging disappointments and setbacks in life, these types of challenges do require that we remain centered and connected when everything else is swirling about us.
This is when mindful change shifts from awareness of how our decisions impact others, to one of self-managing change that occurs due to the actions of others. Of course you can choose to participate in this change or not. Choosing NOT to participate is different from running away from the impending change.
And as long as you clearly understand and accept the possible consequences of your decision, then you’re still practicing mindful change.
Fast or Slow?
Someone once asked me if mindful change meant that everything we did slowed down. Way down. From my perspective, mindful change isn't associated with a particular speed or timeframe. It’s more along the lines of however long you need to be thoughtful in your approach and assessment.
Do you have a personal “checklist” of the steps you go through when considering changes that you know will have an impact on others? Assuming ownership for potential people dynamics associated with a change that we directly own or indirectly implement further develops mindful connections.
And when we’re grounded in an understanding of our environment, and the situation we find ourselves in, along with the people involved or impacted by these changes—down to the processes and tools—we allow ourselves to fully embrace the disruption on multiple levels. We make a mindful choice to embrace disruptive creativity.
How does mindful change work if you’re the one who’s impacted by someone else’s decision to change?
How do you (typically) respond to announcements or discoveries about future change—changes that are more “black and white”, e.g., changes that you don’t believe you’ll be able to influence a different outcome? Do you try anyway? Maybe you enjoy “fighting city hall” if you believe that you can move the needle even a little bit.
But, perhaps, you’re more comfortable going “underground” with your unhappiness, e.g., becoming more of a saboteur of change.
How do you prefer to handle impending change when you're the knowledge keeper of information that if not included could turn a situation into a missed opportunity? Will you speak up in an effort to influence a different outcome? Or do you more often than not remain silent?
Everything is connected. Something that mindful change can teach us.