“I know I need to make changes but I’m not sure how to start?”
This is the question I get asked all the time. Many business owners and entrepreneurs know in their hearts that change is what they need but they just don’t know how to get started. Oftentimes this results in avoidance and/or procrastination. Does this sound familiar?
Why not get started today? I want to help you begin your journey to move towards change in a mindful way. Mindful reinvention approaches change by helping you work through problems with a non-judgemental, curious, and present moment focus.
AVOIDANCE vs. LEANING IN
When clients come to me it’s usually easy to identify where they sit; They either ‘avoid’ or want to ‘lean in’. Can you identify which camp you are in? A lot of my clients seem to have a harder time communicating why they’re avoiding change. This could be for many reasons; Fear of judgment, not sure where to start, or they feel overwhelmed. Do these reasons resonate with you? It can take some time to be honest with yourself and to recognize and accept where you are at. Everyone is different; there is no judgment. We create space and avoid opportunities that make us feel uncomfortable; it’s normal. It’s important to know that where there is discomfort, there is a seedling of growth waiting to bloom if you will let it. Take some time to observe the feelings you have, try to understand the resistance you hold, or the limitation that could be holding you back. Sometimes we need to recognize the steps we’ve already made in a given moment. You chose this article to read, so you probably already know you want to change in some way. This is the path to leaning in…
PRO TIP: Think about the change you think you need. Write it down. Look at it again in a few hours and ask yourself; will this change help me move forward?
Recognizing where you are and identifying your need for change are the first steps to forward.
BEING ELSEWHERE VS. BEING PRESENT
Face it; the mind likes to wander. It happens every day and sometimes we don’t realize it. Many of us believe that we are superior multi-taskers and I would like to challenge that. Studies show that multitasking does not benefit anyone or enhance productivity. Being elsewhere, as we call it in Mindfulness, is a distraction. It pulls us away from the present moment. It pulls us away from everything we should be doing, everything we criticize ourselves about and pass judgment on. Ultimately we are manifesting our own negative mindset. Creating a practice and mindset of being present builds us towards greater acceptance, positive thinking, presence, nourishment, abundance, growth, and a willingness to change.
PRO TIP: Taking moments to stop and pause during the day allows your body and mind to recharge, refuel and reset. Everyone is different when it comes to this. The amount of times you need to stop and pause depends on you, your family, your job, and can vary each day. The key is just doing it and recognizing the practice. Give your body the fuel it deserves so it can focus on the change ahead and commit to action.
DEPLETING VS. NOURISHING
My clients often want to understand exactly what they need to change. The tactical stuff. Most people believe the root cause is a simple fix. If I just put in this new software tool everything will be better… OR if my Manager would just move X meeting and start sharing X materials ahead of time everything would be better. The problem with this is accountability goes out the window and you don’t learn how to be better prepared. I often get asked, how do I fix this approach? What I like to do is find out more about who they are, their core values, and where their mindset sits. This is the part that often takes a bit of time but it’s worth the investment based on the positive results I’ve experienced with my clients.
PRO TIP: Here’s an exercise that can get you and your team starting to think about what is depleting or nourishing your life. Ask yourself… What is the one thing that’s keeping my business alive? Next, create two lists: One is labelled nourishing, while the other says depleting. Write everything you have done this week that nourishes you and your business (the food you eat, the revenue you generate) and then write everything that is depleting you or your business (lost sales, difficult conversations). Write big things as well as the small things. You want to gather it all and look at it written down. This makes it real and that’s what we want to understand. It’s important to recognize what is nourishing our lives and be reminded of what might be holding us back. Once you see your list, it doesn’t mean you need to eliminate everything that depletes you. However, upon further evaluation of your list, you can see a day to day pattern of what might be sucking time, energy, and ultimately creating negative space.
What can you do with this baggage? What purpose does it serve?
The third step in change is to understand our current state, identify what isn’t working, and create opportunities for new things.
After working through the steps above you should be confident and clear on what you want to change and start to think of how to create a focused and clear path forward.
One thing is certain, change is a journey and it’s easier if you don’t try to navigate it alone. The good news is working together with a strong coach or consultant you can figure out the why and how and build a great plan to move forward. Change should be exciting and filled with opportunity. I know you too can come to live the change.
My name is Jen James and I am from Toronto, Canada. I am a Mindful Reinvention Consultant. I have been helping organizations large and small in the space of reinvention, change, and transformation for over 20 years. It is my purpose and passion. I am also a Film Producer and fitness lover.