From Confusion to Clarity Part 0: Change As A System of Related Parts

August 16, 2020

It occured to me after writing, From Confusion to Clarity Part 1: From Confusion to Clarity in 5 Simple Steps, that there was a need to create a post about the context of change. How and why change occurs, prior to thinking about the distinction between developmental growth and transformation.

I created the above video for this purpose. Let’s also discuss it here for a few moments.

A system of change?

Change is actually a rather ordered system. Meaning that it always occurs, and in a similar manner, no matter how small or large. Important to remember that even when we don’t notice, change is always happening. Always. Alright, let’s take a look at this system.

Here are the four parts.

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Photo by Yan Ots on Unsplash

1. Order

We live, work, and love, and we do so in an ordered system. Yes? Meaning that we order our world. It’s different for everyone, yet everyone has some sort of way they order their lives. Even if we don’t write out our goals, objectives, and priorities, we have them, and know them. At home and at work.

We believe that how we order our lives is unchanging. Solid. Stable. Then what?

Something Changes

Most recently, COVID-19. Massive amounts of change. Changing all that we thought we previously knew about our ordered lives. At home and at work.

Creating a necessity to pivot businesses, and create new goals, objectives, and priorities. Yes, in business, and yes, at home. Both. Personally and professional, we’ve all been affected.

When this happens we all go into disorder. With the scale of change that COVID-19 created, the whole world went into disorder.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

2. Disorder

In disorder, we are trying to understand what is happening. Confused, worried, fearful, yes. And, at the same time, we are in survival mode. What can we do? How can we do it?

Moving anything and everything forward that we can. Personally creating new ways to shop, to exercise, to socialize. Professional, creating new business models in our new reality. Everything delivered remotely. New engagement methods, new financial models, new everything. Right? Phew.

And then?

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Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

3. Reorder

Professionally, we begin to once again create longer term goals, objectives, and priorities. Sometimes going out a year, and working backwards to priorities for the next quarter, then the month, and then the day. Beginning to create a sense of order once again.

Personally, we also begin to think about longer term goals. Creating new ways to think about living inside of our new reality. What’s possible? How can we create it?

Then?

4. Order

We have a new order. Phew. Lot’s of work. And inside of this new order, we continue to move forward. Creating, moving, creating, moving, creating, moving. Again, and again. Life.

Something Changes

Of course inside of this new ordered system, we must keep in mind that it is inevitable that another change will occur. It has to. It’s part of the system we call life.

And, what happens when that change occurs. The cycle starts all over again. Really, it does. Here.

  1. Order
    1. Change
  2. Disorder
  3. Reorder
  4. Order
    1. Change
  5. Order

And so on.

Another thing to note is that even the most subtle changes cause this system to move. It is always moving. We may not notice it, yet it is there. In the background it is always functioning.

Usually, it takes larger changes for us to notice.

Alright, that’s thinking about change as a system, which I think will be helpful in engaging with the aforementioned post on developmental growth and transformation.

Be well. Love well. Live well.

#change, #confusiontoclarity, #covid-19, #creatingnewpossibilities, #decreasingconfusion, #development, #disorder, #fromconfusiontoclarity, #growth, #increasingclarity, #livingunlimitedlives, #mindulness, #order, #orderedsystems, #reorder, #selfdevelopment, #systemofchange, #systemsofchange

A Blogger’s Diary 8/15/20: 4 Months In

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Four months in, almost 100 blogs, and SO MUCH learning. Phew. What a ride. I’ve loved every minute of it. Every minute. What have I been up to lately? Hm.

Well, like most of you, writing, creating new ways to engage, and learning a lot about myself along the way. A lot.

I’ve finally made the decision to merge my two sites into one. It will take some time, yet it is time. My oldest son, Justin, will be assisting. Fun. So funny. When I started blogging in April, I created 5 websites. Phew. That was a lot.

Since that time, I have whittled them down to two. And, now there has been a natural confluence of the two sites. I am really excited about merging them in the coming weeks. It will help me focus, and I think it will be much more efficient.

This past week, I’ve been reflecting a lot about transformation. I’ll be doing a new blog series, actually it started today with, Developmental Growth and Transformation: A Distinction, and a new video series over the next several weeks.

Photo by Max Felner on Unsplash

The series will cover, change agents versus the status quo, integrity, vulnerability, communication, and a couple of other topics. I am also working on a new series on sociology called the social constructionism series.

Super excited about both of these series. I think they are very pertinent right now, and I hope you all get something from them. I know I will get many things from reflecting upon them and writing them. 🙂

And, here are a couple other blog topics I am currently working on.

  • The illusion of control
  • Confusion to clarity: order, disorder, reorder, order
  • Why letting go is so hard

Work? Busy. I’ve been working more on my social media presence, especially on LinkedIn. If you’ve not connected with me, and would like to, please do. You can find me here.

Photo by Kelli Tungay on Unsplash

We are almost ready to launch fall classes. We will have over 120 remote community education classes on offer. Pretty amazing. If you’ve never taken a remote community education class, and would like to, you can email me at fleschj@linnbenton.edu. Registration opens on 8/31.

Personal? Spending time working on me. Like many of you, I would like desperately to be with other people right now, yet know that is not helpful, or necessary. So, I am spending my time writing, reading, watching a show here and there, meditating, and going for walks and hikes while the weather is so nice.

Because the theme of the next couple of weeks is about transformation and the social construction of life, here are a couple quotes on these two topics.

“Yes, your transformation will be hard. Yes, you will feel frightened, messed up and knocked down. Yes, you’ll want to stop. Yes, it’s the best work you’ll ever do.” -Robin Sharma

Awakenthegreatnesswithin

“Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming.” -Victoria Erickson

Awakenthegreatnesswithin

“Human existence is, ab initio, an ongoing externalization. As man externalizes himself, he constructs the world into which he externalizes himself. In the process of externalization, he projects his own meanings into reality. Symbolic universes, which proclaim that all reality is humanly meaningful and call upon the entire cosmos to signify the validity of human existence, constitute the farthest reaches of this projection.80 b.”
― Peter L. Berger, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

Goodreads.com

Forgive the highly gendered language in the last quote. It was written a long time ago. Actually, let’s write it again, with more appropriate language. Here we go.

Human existence is, ab initio, an ongoing externalization. As [humans] externalize [themselves], [they] construct the world into which [they] externalize [themselves]. In the process of externalization, [they] project [their] own meanings into reality. Symbolic universes, which proclaim that all reality is humanly meaningful and call upon the entire cosmos to signify the validity of human existence, constitute the farthest reaches of this projection.” (Berger, 1966.)

Alright, that’s it for this entry. I hope that you are all doing well, living well, loving well, creating well, and developing well.

Citation

Berger, Peter L, and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. , 1967. Print.

#blog, #blogging, #confusiontoclarity, #development, #diary, #growth, #illusionofcontrol, #lettinggo, #linkedin, #socialconstruction, #socialconstructionism, #transformation

Developmental Growth and Transformation: A Distinction

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about the difference between developmental growth and transformation? Or, have or do you consider them the same? Hm.

There is an important distinction between developmental growth and transformation, which is important to both personal and professional development. Let’s take a look.

First, let’s define the terms.

development

Translate development into Spanish

NOUN

  • The process of developing or being developed.‘she traces the development of the novel’
    1. A specified state of growth or advancement.‘the wings attain their full development several hours after birth

transformation

Translate transformation into Spanish

NOUN

  • Thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.‘its landscape has undergone a radical transformation’
    1. A metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.‘Both the molting process and the metamorphic transformation from larva to pupa are coordinated and regulated by hormones.’

Ah, do you see the dinsticiton? Either way, let’s work it through.

Development

When you are interested in development, meaning available to it, you occupy a space that welcome’s learning. You stand outside of what you believe to be true about the world, and how you occupy it, and welcome new knowledge, new types of understanding, and new ways of being. Simple. Or is it?

Well, because we have an ego, or, wait, do we? Well, for the purposes of this post, let’s assume we do. Because we have an ego, we don’t like being wrong.

We are constantly seeking validation of what we know. Why?

Because it fits into our worldview. It is what we know. When information comes in, we assemble it into the the narrative of our worldview and who we believe we are. We confirm our ego.

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Photo by Iulia Mihailov on Unsplash

If the information doesn’t fit into our current worldview, we really only have two choices.

Deny the existence of this new information, or become open to it.

Denying this new information is called denial. We are actively denying that another way to look at a situation or event is possible. Egocentric.

However, when we are open to the possibility that there are other ways to think about a situation or event, we have now entered into the developmental arena.

Meaning, that we can now take this new information in, make sense of it, and do something with it.

Even if the information doesn’t fit into our current worldview, if we are open, we can incorporate it into our worldview rather easily. It is all about being open to new information, new ways of understanding, and new ways of being.

The simplest example is to consider development at school and work. When we are confronted with new information, we have a choice. Assimilate and incorporate that new information into our existing worldview, creating new knowledge, or reject it.

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Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

Example.

I am always in conversation with the team about our goals, objectives, and priorities. Recently, I was asked about hiring someone to run Zoom technology for the upcoming professional development trainings.

I, however, was unsure about the need. Didn’t know. I needed to think about it.

Well, the next week, I ran a Zoom meeting with the team. The meeting was 90-minutes and was about creating our next 30-day priorities. Part of the meeting was creating breakout rooms, which you can do in Zoom. The meeting was a complete disaster. Really, it was. What did I learn?

That you absolutely need someone to run technology while the person running the meeting does just that, runs the meeting. I learned through doing the meeting that hiring someone for a Zoom tech position was absolutely necessary. We are hiring someone right now.

I moved from questioning the need, reflecting upon it, to learning that we definitely needed the new position. I developed.

Alright, that’s development. Opportunities for development are available every day. If you don’t see them, it might be that you are avoiding them or in denial about them. It’s not a demerit. I didn’t develop for a long time. Really. I wasn’t interested. Not a judgement. Just a fact. Let’s now look at transformation.

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Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Transformation

Now, transformation implies a complete change to the object, thing, or person. Yep, that’s right. How then does transformation differ from development?

While development requires an active openness, as we’ve discussed, transformation requires openness and a complete and total letting go of what was, in favor of what will be. It requires a shift from a focus on the external to the internal.

Transformation is about questioning all you know. Every ounce of what you know, or beleive you know, must be questioned.

Further, you must be willing to let go of how you previously viewed the world. Open to a continual process of creating new information, new ways of understanding, and new ways of being.

The distinction is that with transformation you actively seek out opportunities to question the ways you think, act, and occur. Internally focused.

You are continuously interested in disrupting your old habits and ways of thinking while creating new habits and ways of thinking.

Let me give you an example to help with the distinction.

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Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash

Let us say you want to develop leadership skills. You can develop leadership skills in lots of ways. You can take classes, read books, even put leadership principles into practice in your life. That is development.

You incorporate new information into the preexisting way you already think about leadership. Simple. How then to create transformation? Mm. Different.

You must be willing to let go of all of your preconceived ideas about what leaders are supposed to do, how they are supposed to act, and how they are supposed to be. All of them. Then what?

You leave your ego at the door.

And, everything you think you know about leadership. Start over. Really. Let it all go. And, create from there.

Transformation can only occur when we let go. Know also that the letting go will need to happen again, and again, and again. Over and over. Why? Because you are disrupting what you held to be true, and creating something new. Key. You are not adding, you are creating.

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Photo by Arnaud Weyts on Unsplash

Example

Let’s see. Okay. Here we go.

When the pandemic began here locally, we were approaching the last week of the term at the community college where I work. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I work in community and continuing education. It is all experiential. All of it. Which means that it is in-person. All of it is, or was.

Within one month of the pandemic beginning here, we let go of all the concepts we held to be true about our business model. All of them. What happened?

We created an entirely new business model. A model that is transformational, as all aspects of it are completely different than the previous model. All of them.

We created all new processes and systems for how we do business. New ways we market and engage with the local community, new ways that instructors teach their classes, even the content that is delivered, while similar, is still completely new. Why?

Because a completely new context has been created. And it was created intentionally by believing something else was possible. Which then replaced our current belief system of how we all viewed our work.

All of us. now our actions follow that new belief system. That is transformation.

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

When you intentionally create new ways to be, new ways to think, new ways to believe, new ways to be a human, you are creating contexts that are transformational. Never seen or experienced before. Transformation.

How are development and transformation similar?

One key way. When you develop, whether you want to or not, you give out your development to others. If those around you are open, they will learn from you and also develop. And, it is the exact same for you. If those around you are developing, and you are open you will also develop.

It is the same with transformation. If you are creating transformational contexts that change the nature of what’s possible, those around you, if they are open, will also transform. If they are open. If not, then they won’t. Same for development.

Can development lead to transformation?

Oh, yes, absolutely. In some ways, they sort of go together, which is why I wanted to write about the distinction. Whereas they are different, they both are about being open to and participating in creating change.

Here is a distinction on the difference between change and transformation.

“Change is about using external influences to modify actions to achieve desired results. Transformation is about modifying beliefs so that natural actions achieve the desired results.”

cioinsight.com

See the difference? One is externally driven, and one is internally driven. Very similar to the distinction between development and transformation. Important.

How do you begin to develop or transform?

Really it’s pretty simple, yet not easy. A paradox, yep. My suggestion?

  • Be open to everything around you. Being open is probably the key to both development and transformation. Both become possible when we are open to new information and new experiences.

When we are open, the world opens up. It really does. There is so much to learn and to experience. Being open creates an immediate possibility. The possibility that you will learn to be more. More of either how you already occur, or more by occurring in a completely new way in a completely new context.

#beliefsystems, #changeandtransformation, #covid-19, #creatingchange, #creatingnewcontexts, #creatingnewknoweldge, #creatingnewwaysofbeing, #creativity, #development, #developmentalgrowth, #distinction, #distinctionbetweentransformationanddevelopment, #ego, #growth, #humandevelopment, #leadership, #letting-go, #personaldevelopment, #selfdevelopment, #transformation

Leadership in Practice Series Part 3 – Community and Continuing Education and COVID-19: A Brief Exploration

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Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

Have you ever heard of community and continuing education, or noncredit education? Yes, no? Either way, that’s okay. Most people know very little about the breadth, accessibility, and availability of community and continuing education.

Before taking my current position, as the Director of Extended Learning at Linn-Benton Community College, I knew very little about community and continuing education. Sure, I’d heard of community classes, yet they were not something I had access to growing up.

Learning, then, that community and continuing education, of which corporate training, professional development, and small business development are also a part, are far more accessible and available than I knew, and many people know was enlightening. And, right now, access to these classes is needed more than ever.

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Photo by cyrus gomez on Unsplash

Community and Continuing Education

Why?

Now more than ever people need a place to connect with other people. Humans are social beings. Regardless of whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, people need to be with other people. And, right now, that’s hard. Really hard.

Community and continuing education provides such a space. Yep, even right now. Though, for sure, COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for educators all across the country, some organizations have found ways to continue to serve. How?

Creating new ways to deliver education that is typically considered and associated with an in-person experience. Prior to COVID-19 becoming a local reality, the Extended Learning Department at Linn-Benton Community College had only a handful of remote classes and training. Starting this fall?

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Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

What?

The Department will have over 120 Community Education classes, 4 cohorts (all full with a winter term waitlist) of Professional Development training, at least one Driver Education class, and over 10 Small Business Development Center classes and workshops. And, yep, they are all remote. Phew. Unprecedented change. Why does it matter?

Though taking a class or a training during a massive pandemic may seem like the wrong time, it is exactly the right time. There has never been a more “right” time to be connected with other human beings. Never been a more right time to continue to learn, to grow, to move ourselves and everyone around us forward. It is just so. The right time.

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

How?

Easy. You sign up for a class or training you want to take, and take it. Simple. Now, we’ve experienced lots of technological challenges in delivering these new remote classes. A wonderful learning experience. And, like anything, there is really only one way to learn something, and that is to do it. Simple.

“Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” -Anonymous

Awaken the Greatness Within

If you are unsure where to look, take a look at the local community college, University, or Parks and Recreation department where you live. Will they have remote classes? Don’t know. However, many have been offering remote classes, and I think more will follow. And, if you don’t have access? Well, you can always reach out to Extended Learning at Linn-Benton Community College. Yep.

It is most important to know that there are classes and training happening right now. Whether it is in the community you live in, or in another community miles away. Because these classes and training are remote, the miles matter less, than knowing that they are available and accessible.

For more information on how to access Linn-Benton Community College Extended Learning classes and training you can email Jeff Flesch at fleschj@linnbenton.edu.

#accesstoeduction, #communityandcontinuingeducation, #communityeducation, #communityeduction, #continuingeducation, #covid-19, #creativity, #development, #education, #experience, #experiential, #growth, #leadership, #leadershipinaction, #leadershipinpractrice, #noncrediteduction, #professionaldevelopment, #smallbusinessdevelopment

The Blog + Video Series 11: A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough

Breakdown to Breakthrough

For most of my life I associated breakdowns with something to be avoided. An issue? Not necessarily. However, consider that breakdowns always lead to breakthroughs. And, without breakthroughs there is no movement. Movement, you ask?

I mean you cannot move your life into new realms of understanding and experience when you avoid breakdowns. Not possible. However, when you are open to an understanding that includes breakdowns and the associated breakthroughs as part of the human experience, you can move your life into new realms. Really.

Before we go further, let’s take a look at the definition of breakdown.

breakdown

Translate breakdown into Spanish

NOUN

  1. A mechanical failure.‘breakdowns could totally disrupt production’
  2. A failure of a relationship or system.‘a breakdown in military discipline’
    1. 2. A sudden collapse in someone’s mental health.‘Heather had a breakdown following the death of her sister’
  3. The chemical or physical decomposition of something.‘the breakdown of ammonia to nitrites’
    1. 3. An explanatory analysis, especially of statistics.‘a detailed cost breakdown’
  4. A lively, energetic American country dance.

Alright, let’s use 1.2 for the purposes of this conversation.

You may then ask, well, how do I become open to breakdowns as part of my regular daily experience? Ah, good. Let’s take a look at three things you can do every day that will ensure that you fully experience your breakdowns and the associated breakthroughs.

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Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

1. Welcome the Breakdowns

Often human beings avoid doing something new because we believe we need to look good and be right. Seriously. Take a moment right now, and really sit inside of this concept for a minute. And? Yep.

If you are really open to this conversation, you will agree that you too often avoid new experiences, because to be vulnerable and admit we don’t know is hard. Really hard.

Let me write that again. Being vulnerable and admitting we don’t know about something is hard. Really hard.

It is okay to acknowledge that; to admit this truth. It is. Admitting this truth simply means you are now aware that new experiences frighten people. With this new awareness you can now work from a space that allows for more openness. A paradox. Yep.

Actually becoming aware of this truth immediately opens you up. Right away. How? Because when we are no longer avoiding something about ourselves that we don’t like, and we embrace reality as it is, we create a new space within ourselves to know ourselves better, and to learn.

What to do?

The next time you are invited to take on something new that you don’t know much about, or have tried in the past and failed, try it again. Why?

Because inside of your new awareness about breakdowns, you have a new understanding; that breakdowns are normal. We need them to move ourselves forward. We need them to get to breakthroughs. Welcome the breakdowns. It simply means you are on the right track.

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Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

2. Ask for Help

Another thing hard for many humans to do is ask for help. Why? Because like trying new things, admitting that we need help, makes us fearful. When we act with a need to look good and be right, there is no space to ask for help. We see it as a weakness. Again a paradox. Why?

Because as I’ve written about in other posts, the idea that we know everything there is to know about any topic is silly. No matter how many degrees you have, or how much practical experience you have, there is always something to learn. Always.

Within this context, asking for help is normal. And, it is. Very normal. Does that mean asking for help is easy? No. Admitting we don’t know, need help, no matter what it is we are doing is hard. Very hard.

However, like understanding that breakdowns are normal, having this new understanding about asking for help, immediately opens you up. Opens you up to understanding the true nature of your humanity. And, in this space, you have the opportunity to learn more, be more, and know more. Awesome.

What to do?

When you are in breakdown, stay there. Yep, that’s right. Stay inside of that breakdown, and really feel it. Then, if you get a breakthrough, great. If not, ask for help. There is everything right about asking for help. Think about it like this. If you don’t ever ask for help, you are not expanding that which you know.

And, when we stop expanding what we know, we are limiting ourselves, and our human potential. Your potential is vast. It already is. If you experience that vastness, wonderful. If you’ve yet to experience it, don’t worry. Follow the steps in this post, and you will begin to experience it. Really.

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Photo by Lucas Gallone on Unsplash

3. Capture the Breakthroughs

You will never know when a breakthrough will come. Sometimes you will get a breakthrough right on the other side of a breakdown. Sometimes it will be later. It’s okay. Normal.

What’s important is to capture your breakthroughs. In the moment you have a breakthrough, you may not even be sure what it is related to; and, that’s okay. Write it down anyway. Hold onto it. You will see where it belongs eventually.

Once you know where your breakthrough insight belongs, you can make plans to implement it into that area of your life. Sometimes you will choose to do this right away; and, sometimes you will wait. Both are fine. It matters less when you implement your breakthrough, than it is that you stay open to adopting it in some way. Why?

Because that breakthrough is a direct result of a breakdown you had. Whether you can trace the breakthrough back to a breakdown, it is related. Important. And, why it is so important to track and capture your breakthrough in some way.

Let’s now take a look at the definition of breakthrough.

breakthrough

Translate breakthrough into Spanish

NOUN

  1. A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.‘a major breakthrough in DNA research’
    1. 1. An instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity.as modifier ‘the band’s breakthrough album’

Alright, we’ve now discussed a journey from breakdown to breakthrough. Though there is much more to discuss about breakdowns and breakthroughs, we covered enough to keep you moving.

When I started seeing my lifecoach 3 years ago, she once asked me this question:

Can you limp along a little while longer?

At that time in my life, a concept like a journey from breakdown to breakthrough was not available to me. Well, it was, however, I was not paying attention, nor was I in touch with myself. When we are out of touch with our own humanity the conversation we just had is harder to put into action.

However, what I’ve come to realize in the past three years, is that with guidance and persistence, the journey from breakdown to breakthrough can become a reality for everyone.

A reality that includes welcoming our breakdowns, a willingness to ask for help, and a system we can use to capture our breakthroughs so we can learn, and move ourselves forward.

Photo by Rafael Pol on Unsplash

#askforhelp, #being-in-touch-with-your-emotions, #breakdown, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthrough, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #emotional-development, #emotional-intelligence, #emotionalintelligence, #emotions, #growth-and-development, #growthanddevelopment, #growthmindset

The Blog + Video Series 10: Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

Developing and Managing Resilience

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

#covid-19, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #covid-19resilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #managingresilience, #resilience

A Blogger’s Diary 8/8/20: On Resilience and Breakdown to Breakthrough

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This past week, as you can tell from three of my most recent posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience, breakdowns and breakthroughs, and getting unstuck. I’m unsure if I actually connected the three concepts in the posts, so I am going to do so here real quick, promise. 🙂

In the post Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19, I write about the necessity of getting outside of our comfort zones, to learn new concepts, and to expand the size of our containers, which also increases our resiliency.

In the post, 4 Things to Notice and 4 Ways to Move Yourself From Stuck to Unstuck, I write about becoming more aware of how we feel. Noticing when we don’t feel well, and using this new awareness and the information that comes with it, to move ourselves forward.

In the post, A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough, I write about how breakdowns are normal. Though there is a stigma attached to breakdowns, especially in the U.S., they are perfectly normal. More, they are needed. When we welcome our breakdowns, we get to breakthroughs, which then opens us up to more insight.

Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash

How are they connected?

Connection 1

Being more aware of how we feel, when we feel frustrated, anxious, angry, or nervous means that we are not addressing something. As possible, we are not welcoming a breakdown. Maybe we are resisting it, because we think it’s a problem to have a breakdown. If that’s so, it’s okay. I lived that way for a long time.

Connection 2

However, what I’ve come to realize is that welcoming breakdowns when they are there, will move us to breakthrough, and guess what? When we move from breakdown to breakthrough, we are now unstuck. Consider that when we avoid breakdowns, we remain stuck.

Connection 3

And, when we move from stuck to unstuck by addressing something we’ve been avoiding, or are in denial about, we increase our resilience. Yep. It’s so. Resiliency increases as we face difficult situations. Sometimes those situations are external, sometimes internal. Consider also, at some level they are always internal.

COVID-19

Lastly, continuing to live through COVID-19 reminds me that being aware of the following is needed now more than ever.

  • The importance of
    • Being sensitive to how we feel.
    • Welcoming our breakdowns.
    • Using our breakthroughs; and,
      • Moving from stuck to unstuck again and again, which
      • Expands our containers, and increases our overall level of resilience.

We are all going to have to face, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, many, many, more unknowns in the months to come. And, living inside of the unknown is a very uncomfortable place for most people. However, there are actions we can all take to increase our resiliency, which will make the unknown less scary.

There are actions here, and in each of the aforementioned posts, which walk you through strategies you can utilize, if you choose, to increase your awareness and resilience, which you may find beneficial in the long run.

Be well. Be aware. Be resilient.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

#breakdown, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthrough, #covid-19, #covid-19andgrowth, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #emotional-intelligence, #emotional-self, #emotions, #growth, #managingresilience, #resilience

4 Things to Notice and 4 Ways to Move Yourself From Stuck to Unstuck

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Do you ever feel stuck? Like you are doing the same thing every day, getting the same result, and wondering why this is so? Yep. Happens to all of us at some point in our lives. In fact, it is possible that it happens often.

On any given week, I would say that I get stuck multiple times. True. Really. I have no issue owning my stuckness, as it is inside of being stuck that you learn to become unstuck. How?

Well, let’s take a look at 4 things to notice and 4 ways you can, right now, today, if you choose, move from stuck to unstuck.

1. Notice Frustration and Worry

When we are stuck, emotions like frustration and worry arise more often. Why? Because internally we know that the actions we are taking are not working. They are, rather, a product of being in a rut. Or, being stuck.

As I wrote about in The Stories We Are Told and The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Becoming Limitless, we are the ones that get ourselves stuck. And, it happens inside of limited thinking. We believe we are limited in some way when we are stuck. Or, we believe we already know all there is to know about a particular subject or topic. Issue?

Yes. Why? Because it is an impossibility for anyone to know everything there is to know on any subject or topic. Really. Impossible.

1. What can you do if you are thinking, feeling, and acting this way?

  • Once you notice your frustration and worry, stop what you are doing. Really. Stop. Take a break, and think about the thoughts you are having. Are you considering all options? Or, are you merely reacting to the situation at hand? Important distinction.
  • Then, ask someone their opinion. Seriously. Often, when I am stuck, it is someone else that shows me another way forward. The coolest part about this? That you get unstuck and learn something new at the same time. Pretty cool.
Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

2. Notice your own fear, especially of the unknown

Ah, I’ve written a lot about fear. In Fear of the Unknown: Take A Stand and Take Action Anyway, I write about getting out of our own way. Seriously. Read any self-development book, and in it you will read about getting out of your own way. Is it easy? No. Not at first.

Yet, like anything we do, it gets easier the more we practice getting out of our own way. When you experience fear about an action you are thinking about taking, more than likely it is a product of an innate need to look good or be right. Yep.

We are so concerned that we might look silly or foolish, we don’t take action, or we take action within a limited framework. Which, when you really think about it, is kinda silly and foolish.

In order to become unstuck from our fear, we must be vulnerable; and, take the action there is to take, especially when we feel nervous. When you are nervous, you are growing. Yep. At that moment, you are growing your own developmental spectrum.

2. What can you do if you are allowing fear to keep you stuck?

  • Take the actions anyway. Move forward. Let go of the need to look good, and be right. When we are stuck in looking good or being right, we cannot grow. There is absolutely no growth with that mindset.
  • A growth mindset is about being open, vulnerable, and the practical knowledge that we know way less than there is to know.
  • Learn to become comfortable in not knowing, and looking silly. You will find that when you take action from a standpoint of not knowing, and being okay with “looking silly” that people will actually respond to you. Why? Because they have the exact same fears. The exact same. When you get outside of your fear, you will inspire them.
Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

3. Notice when you are avoiding situations, tasks, or contexts

In the post, 3 Reasons Why Avoidance is an Ineffective Strategy, I write about why avoidance is ineffective. Essentially when we are avoidant, we are contributing to our own stuckness. We are. Why?

Because we are actively resisting a situation, task, or context, which means in that area of our life, we are stuck. Yep. When we avoid, we don’t move forward. We standstill. Stuck.

Further, when we avoid, we can also feel off, and not so well. Frustration, worry, and anxiety can be higher because internally we know we are avoiding something that needs our attention. See, we can’t get out of ourselves. Even when we think we can get out of it, we can’t.

However, when we are open to our own avoidance, we can actively choose to notice it, and begin to consider how to move forward. It doesn’t mean that that area of our life will move forward all at once, or simply. Noticing our avoidance, however, does mean we are now open to creating movement.

3. What can you do when you are being avoidant?

  • Pay attention to those situations, tasks, and contexts that you are avoiding. When you notice them, stop yourself and ask, why. Why are you being avoidant? Get to that reason if you can.
  • Whether the reason is at the surface or not, begin to consider things you can do to move forward. Once you choose an action, take it. No matter how small. Take that action. It will be uncomfortable. Especially at first.
  • Remember though, it is inside of the continual actions we take every day that comfort will come. And, comfort in what is uncomfortable today will come. It will.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

4. Notice when you are holding tight to your current reality, and begin to let go

In the post, Creating Your Life Anew by Letting Go of The Life You Are Currently Living, I write about the necessity of letting go of the life, or reality, you are currently living in order to live a new one.

It is the same as being stuck. When we hold tight to our current reality, we cannot let go. Impossible. We are then stuck. Essentially, holding onto our current reality is being stuck. They are synonymous. Why?

Because you cannot become unstuck from that which you are stuck to. We must learn to let go. If we do not, we end up living in a false reality where things are static and do not change. Yet, that is not the real world. The world changes with or without our consent. Just look at the current reality right now.

4. What can you do when you are holding tight to your current reality?

  • Practice letting go. Choose an aspect of your life that you believe you are stuck in, and begin to consider what about that current reality you can live without. And, let go.
  • Once you’ve let go of that aspect of your current reality, create something new to fill that reality, to move forward.
  • As with the other suggestions, you can focus on smaller aspects of your life where you are stuck first. Practice, practice.
  • When you’ve practiced letting go in smaller aspects of your life, you may be ready to try something larger. Take it one step at a time. Slowly. There is no hurry here.

Alright, there are 4 things to notice, and 4 ways to move from stuck to unstuck. Remember, being stuck is a normal part of life; and becoming unstuck is a wonderful learning experience.

Moving from stuck to unstuck is a developmental growth process. You simply need to be open to notice when you are stuck, and then to take a different action in that area of your life.

My invitation to you

Notice when you are stuck. Be at peace with it. It is okay, normal. Once noticed, create a new action in that area of your life. When you’ve created that new action, create the next one, and then the next one. And, so on. I think you will be surprised at what you get back.

#avoidance, #beatpeace, #becominglimitless, #beingsilly, #beingvulnerable, #creatingmovement, #creatingmovementinourlife, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #embracingoursilliness, #gettingunstuck, #growth, #growthmindset, #inspiration, #learingtoletgo, #learningcomfortinuncomfotableness, #lettinggo, #movingfromstucktounstuck, #takingaction

Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gia-oris-5dt-joxsl78-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Develop well.

#comfortzone, #comfortzones, #covid-19, #covid-19growht, #covid-19growth, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growing, #growth, #humandevelopment, #learning, #managingresilience, #perspective, #resielnce, #selfdevelopment, #uncomfortable

Creating and Maintaining Relationships Part 4: The Relationship System

Photo by Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about how relationships work? I mean how they function within the systems and spheres that we move through? It is an interesting question, and one that we will explore in this post.

In my first post on relationships, Creating and Maintaining Relationships: What else is there?, I write about how all relationships start with you, and go outward. Here is the diagram from that post.

Now, in this post, we are going to expand on this simple relationship diagram, so we can see the movement that occurs through each of these relationship spheres. Let’s start with the relationship we have with ourselves, as it really does all start there.

Relationship with ourselves

In the post, The Self-Development Tips Series 1: The Art of Loving Yourself, I write about the importance of developing a highest-quality relationship with ourselves. That, in fact, learning how to love ourselves is the very first step in having other high-quality relationships. It is a must. Really.

Without a high-quality relationship with ourselves, we cannot create high-quality relationships with others. Why? Because if we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, to love ourselves, we cannot give care and love out to others. Not in a sustainable way.

We must first develop deep care and love for ourselves, then that same deep care and love will go out from us to others.

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

Relationships with Family

Once we have a high-quality relationship with ourselves, we can truly be there for our family. In being there, I mean have open, honest, and loving communication with each other; developing those high-quality relationships along the way.

In the post, Creating and Maintaining Relationships Part 3: Understanding Our Emotions and Strengthening Our Relationships by Slowing Down, I write about the importance of noticing when we are being inattentive to how we feel. Important.

When we are inattentive to our emotions, and are reacting without pausing, there is a higher likelihood that arguments with our partners will become more common. These pauseless reactions also function the same way with and toward our children.

It is important to note that we are not reacting to our environments in this way intentionally. Fully understanding how we are reactive, includes learning about our “triggers.” What are they, whom are they with, and why do we have them? Once we know, we can create space to pause, think and reflect, and then choose a different action.

All of which when combined with having a loving relationship with ourselves, free of blame and shame, creates whole new possibilities with the relationships we have with our family.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Relationships at Work

In the post, Three Transformational Leadership Skills, I write about developing high-quality relationships at work. Developing these relationships, like the ones we have with family, also starts with ourselves.

Once we are clear on who we are, and how we think and feel, we can develop work relationships that are strong and long-lasting. In the article I note three essential skills all leaders should develop in order to create these high-quality relationships.

  1. Authenticity – knowing who we are is the first step, then being who we are all the time is the next.
  2. Safety – creating a safe environment with the team you lead, or work on, is essential. People will not be authentic with you unless you are also authentic, and they feel safe.
  3. Transparency – being forthright about the state of the business, and issues that arise, are also important. Sharing with the people you work with is important for them to feel included, and valued.

These three skills, of course, are also important for us to develop in our personal lives. It works like that. What we develop for ourselves, we end up developing for everyone around us.

Relationships with the Community and The Greater World

How we develop ourselves, and our relationships then goes out from us and into the community, and, yes, the greater world. When we create a focus on our inner development, people around us develop, and the community also develops. That is movement.

The movement is part of the way the relationship network, or system works. Here is a simple illustration that goes a bit further than the above referenced system image, showing that we are connected through everyone we know, ultimately, to all people.

By continuing to add more contexts into the above illustration, you can create more complexity in how the relationship system is interwoven.

Ultimately we are connected to everyone, and everything, and what we give out, comes back to us. All contexts are also connected, sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly, as the above illustration also shows.

Whether the connection is direct or indirect matters less, than the realization that all that we do on this planet as human beings touches each other in some way. Important.

Relationships are so important. Really. The relationship we have with ourselves is the starting point, and, as you can see, it is only the beginning of how we, as human beings, end up touching everyone and everything around us. Even when we don’t know about it.

These relationships and all that we give and get from them are crucial to moving society forward. Without them, there would be no movement.

Know that every action you take to develop and grow yourself also grows your family, friends, teams, organizations, communities, and the greater world.

Develop well.

#authenticity, #community, #connection, #developingourselves, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #emotionalintelligence, #grwoth, #leadership, #loveeachother, #loving-yourself, #relationships, #relationshipsystems, #safety, #theworld, #transparency, #weareallconnected, #workrelationships