Change comes in many packages, big and small. And the hardest changes don’t always come from adversity. New, good changes can cause major shifts in personal and professional identity. Moving to another house, or getting a promotion, or healing from an illness can open up a space of transformation that causes as many difficulties as delights. Even the most influential leaders need to remember to make time for reflection, to ask themselves, “Who am I now?”
As we become new, we become unfamiliar to the people around us. The change may be sudden or gradual, but because we are in the center of the experience, it feels natural more quickly for us. For our colleagues, family and followers, we can seem different in ways that we can’t track. What feels right to us can feel strange to others.
When all signs point to strange, it’s time for us to ask a fundamental question, first by going within. Journaling, drawing, listing, mindmapping, talking to yourself, meditating, whatever gets your juices going — that’s what we need. We need to become still enough to become honest with ourselves, tracking the ways we understand the shift.
Then it’s time to ask that same question of the most important people in our professional and personal lives. If being honest with ourselves feels hard, being open to hear an honest response from someone else can take even more courage. But it’s the next important step in making sure our transformation is legible, supportive of and supported by the people that matter to us.
Change is your wake up call. You can’t celebrate it, or make it work in your world, without embracing the process of transformation.
So, who are you now? How is it different from yesterday’s you? How is it changing your values, your thoughts, your presence as a leader?