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Navigating Change

Even Stars Need Coaches!

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Hi Friends! How are you navigating change?

This month, for the first time in my life, I was asked to tell my story . . . not once, but TWICE. I was humbled . . . and terrified. As I reflected on what others might find interesting about my journey and what aspects might resonate, I circled around the concept of change. The past two years have been marked by RAPID change in my life.

As my friends like to remind me, I blew up my life two years in a row. In 2018, by welcoming special needs foster children into our home. In 2019, by quitting my job in #biglaw to start my own coaching company.

So, how was I navigating change? And, how can you navigate the changes that are certain to occur in your life with more grace and resiliency?

It is my hope that these “lessons learned” will help you navigate confidently and productively through change rather than being paralyzed by it.

  • A reflective practice can act as your anchor – your calm in the chaos.  The purpose of reflective practices are to quiet your mind, increase mindfulness, and develop self-awareness.  All of these skills are important to develop distance between your essential self and your thoughts, live in the moment, and engage in a process of continuous learning.  Reflective practices can take many forms, including meditation, gratitude, journaling (with prompts such as “What went right today?” or “What delighted you today?”), visualization, or even walking.

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds
can change the outer aspects of their lives.

William James

  • The middle is messy.  When you are in the middle of a big, transformational, creative change, it is ALWAYS messy.  This is really hard to accept for people who are used to being in control.  But, here’s the thing, nothing is wasted.  Every single moment – even the messy ones – are preparing you for what comes next.

The middle is messy, but it’s also where the magic happens.
Brene Brown

  • Change happens slowly and all at once.  My decision to leave private practice happened in a flash, but the identity change that led to it had been underway for a couple of years.  The origins of change can often be seen only in retrospect.  We don’t find ourselves in a blinding flash of insight.  We learn by doing, and each new experience is part answer and part question.  Who am I? How do I want to live?

It happens slowly at first, then all at once.
Ernest Hemingway

  • Give with an abundant heart.  When our community pulled together in support of my family, it was the first time I’d experienced true generosity.  No one expected thanks or praise for their efforts, they simply gave us what was needed – no strings attached.  The love shown to us was transformational.  And, as a result, we were able to give more of ourselves than we knew was possible.  So now, I carefully consider whether I can give with an abundant heart, without any expectation of return. Would I be satisfied giving a gift if no one knew I gave it and if no one ever said thank you?  If the answer is yes, I give graciously.  If not, I acknowledge that it is a transaction rather than a gift.

Do things for people not because of who they are
or what they do in return,
but because of who you are.

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

  • Action begets action.  For most people, fear of change results in analysis paralysis and they get stuck in the messy middle.  But, if you’re going through hell, keep on going.  For God’s sake, DON’T STOP!  You will not think your way out of irrational fear. You can only act your way into a new, and better, situation.  Take the next right step even if you don’t know where it will lead you and have faith that one day the fog will clear and you will be able to chart your course once again.

Change is always powerful
Let your hook be always cast.
In the pool where you least expect, it will be a fish.

How have you successfully navigated change in the past?  What would you add to this list as a lesson learned?  And, what advice would you give your younger self around mastering change?

I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Remember, anything or anyone who doesn’t light you up is too small for you.

Sarah-Nell Walsh

Business Coach + Growth Strategist

Even Stars Need Coaches!

Become a leader that you'd be proud to follow. Reach out today for a complimentary Wayfinders Discovery call to learn how.

Sarah-Nell Walsh

Sarah-Nell Walsh is an executive coach, former attorney, and Founder of Wayfinders, LLC. Equal parts big-hearted cheerleader and bold challenger, she works with ambitious professionals, executives, and lawyers who want to perform at the top of their game. Wayfinders has a business development coach for lawyers, a leadership coach for executives, and a transition coach for professionals. We work with all our clients to make their desired impact on their organizations, their families, and the world.

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