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It is Won or Lost Between Your Ears

Sep 14, 2018

It is Won or Lost Between Your Ears

“…change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.” – William Bridges in Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

Change is inevitable.
Change is hard.
Change may or may not have been up to us.
But…
Transitions are all about inner reorientation, and my goal is to provide a compass as you navigate three key moments. Over the next few weeks, I will give you my thoughts on how we can approach transition seasons and hopefully provide some ideas to improve. I have been involved in many different transitions, and I truly hope to share my experience and wisdom along the way. The quote from William Bridges clarifies the difference between changes and transitions. I so resonate with his perspective.

“…change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.”
– William Bridges

Me speaking at Leadercast

A new life brought into the world or the passing of someone we love are two very clear transitional seasons. Yes, those are important to navigate and adjust to, but the transitions I want to address are the following:

  • New Information
  • New Job
  • New Environment

Let’s talk about the ways we react when receiving new data or information during change.

As humans, we face new information on a daily basis and must learn to adjust and react to it appropriately. Leaders, ask yourselves these next few questions to consider how you can better process information when it’s dropped into your life.

Why can we become overwhelmed when learning new information?
Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to get so familiar with our surroundings and experiences that when something changes, we can feel disoriented. We are all met with change, and to be fearful of the unknown is completely normal. When faced with unfamiliarity, you may experience anger, sadness, or fear. My challenge to you is to not look down on yourself for the feelings you have around a given piece of information, but to give yourself permission to process those emotions. We must allow ourselves to feel and not be ashamed at the amount of time it takes to readjust between learning new data and getting back up on our feet.

How can we can we redirect our posture when we feel overwhelmed by new data?
My best answer to this, from personal experience, is to recognize the new information as an opportunity and not a mistake. I believe the way in which you receive and process new information in the first 24 hours determines the success of your transition.  

How can we perceive (or misinterpret) the intended meaning of the new data?
If something doesn’t go our way when new data arrives, we must take the proper measures to process it rightly. Most of us draw our inferences on things so quickly that we completely miss the purpose of the information. I challenge you to process the new data with an open mind and curious spirit instead of jumping to conclusions or worst-case scenarios.

It is imperative to receive data for what it is, to process it, and to accept it so you can move forward in your life, career or relationships. I have met people that are stifled for years when one piece of crippling data enters the scene. I view every piece of information as a new character to the story playing a pivotal role in making me the person I am supposed to be. What we can’t control is the characters in the story, but what we can control is the way we allow that character to change us at the core of who we are.

Takeaways:
The 24-hour rule: Give yourself a day to process the data and don’t make any rash decisions.
Stay open but curious: The best leaders allow new things to come on the scene and don’t push things away. Be okay with messy in some seasons of life. Stay on your toes in the event that new information enters the scene unexpectedly.
View it in story format: Every piece of new information is like a character in your story, and it is up to you if that character makes you better or worse.

You have the power to choose which way you are going to respond to new data, and that choice will indicate the success of your next steps. I am pumped about this series and would love to hear your comments. Repost this with your process when facing new information to add value to this topic in the lives of others.

Your fan,
Billy Boughey

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