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The Gift of Change

There is no denying that this year has been unlike any other, something that seemed unimaginable until it became our everyday reality. To think that every human being was collectively experiencing the same challenge simultaneously, irrespective of demographics and geographical location, is inconceivable. No one has been immune to the trials of 2020 – we have all been faced with and forced to adapt to change!

 

For those who don’t know me, now is an excellent time to tell you that I am obsessed with change. Not the loose coins in your wallet kind of change, but the act and process of becoming or making something different – an inevitable human experience. I was the child who irritatingly questioned “why” and had an affinity for the bookstore’s self-help/development section. I have an insatiable appetite and curiosity for understanding our ability to ignite, experience, and resist change. I have never been satisfied with “it is how it is” or “this is as good as it gets.” I am the passionate crusader, part dreamer, who thrives on improving, growing, and developing through change – it is my ecstasy!

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate for ‘change for the sake of change’; there has to be a clear value proposition, an intention or purpose behind it. I spent over a decade in corporate Change Management – 70% of change initiatives fail due to a lack of clear focus and direction. Whether self-initiated or thrust upon us, it helps to understand why change is needed, what needs to change, and the desired result of the change.

 

When we think about the events of 2020, it feels as though we have been drinking change from a fire hydrant. We were neither prepared nor ready, let alone had a clear focus or direction. We reactively responded to unprecedented events. For some, this year created the space and flexibility to proactively enact changes long desired, and in some cases, overdue. How many of us have stopped to reflect on what this year has meant for us? Outside of our careers, how has this year changed us as individuals in all aspects of our lives?

 

It would be effortless to write this entire year off, chalk it up to one storm after another where we felt like we never caught a break. I won’t argue with you; it has been testing, but I am reluctant to write this year off as all bad. It is my personal experience that it is in the midst of change that transformation occurs. Why? Change requires us to step out of our comfort zone, and this is where the most insightful learning and growth transpire.

 

Take a moment to sit with yourself and consider what you have learned about yourself this year. How have you changed, grown, been challenged, or evolved?

 

It is instinctual to resist what is different and new, to want to stay in the warmth and safety of what is known, familiar, and comfortable. 2020 has propelled us out of our comfort zones at a rapid pace. We have endured phases of rapid change that would be difficult in any circumstances, let alone in the uncharacteristic context of this year.

 

First, we transitioned from life as we knew it to a disarrayed state filled with fear and panic about a seemingly uncertain future. Then, we began processing a new reality and adapting to a different world order; maintaining caution while hesitantly settling into a ‘new normal.’ Finally, we are arriving at the juncture where old meets new. We are reconciling what we used to believe and accept as the norm and integrating what we have learned in recent times.

 

The actual reality is that this time has changed us. The past as we know it has come and gone. No matter what the future holds, we can’t return to the way it once was because we now know differently. We have seen how these changes have forced us to be creative, innovate, adapt, and pivot to achieve what we once thought was impossible. We’ve seen what has worked, what hasn’t, and where there is opportunity to do better and grow. We have witnessed the unbeatable power of humanity.

 

Irrespective of what lies ahead in 2021, the year 2020 has equipped us with the gift of change. We have the lessons and insights of the old and the foresight of the new. It is with these gifts that we can confront every day with an acceptance that:

As we wind up what has been a very different year on many fronts, I urge you to find the silver lining in this year. It is easy to be shortsighted, focusing on hitting deadlines, checking boxes, achieving, and performing.

 

Give yourself a moment to STOP and reflect:

Feel free to send me an email at hello@laurintium.com. I’d love to hear from you. Share your experiences and insights from this transformative year, and let’s discuss how we can embrace the gift of change together!

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