My move across the country to my new 6th grade school was harrowing. My eyes were still puffy from farewells when I conducted My List, in order of importance: 1) avoid killer bees; 2) be seen as smart; 3) create a new look.
Despite that change is always an option, we sometimes need a life event to remind us.
I’m not talking about what or how to change, but how to prepare for successful change.
A key difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders is willingness to change and adapt. We’re ALL leaders. We lead ourselves every day, some more successfully than others. You. Are. A. Leader.
Check-in with overall habits
On a scale of 1-10, how is your: health; relationship; finances; spirituality; profession; family/parenting?
What’s keeping you from a ‘10’? For instance, is lack of quality sleep affecting your health? With more than a third of our society sleep deprived, according to the Center for Disease Control, we put ourselves at greater risk of health issues and create a poor atmosphere for decision-making. What one habit can you change to become a ‘10’?
Clear out physical clutter
Every time we have a change in routine we tend to collect clutter, which can keep us stymied and stuck.
Ask yourself, Why is the clutter occurring?
- Do I have too much stuff?
- Am I going through a transition, such as new home office?
- Am I lacking organizational systems?
- Am I a perfectionist?
Once you’ve identified the Why you can then take steps to help adapt: clean out unwanted/unneeded items; research how to best organize, reach out for help; know it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Clear out emotional clutter
Emotional clutter has the greatest impact on our happiness and well-being. It’s like joining in gossip around the water cooler. These persistent, damaging thoughts may sound like,
“I’m never appreciated.”
“I do all the work around here.”
“I’m terrible at …”
Holding onto negative emotions, feelings and experiences can be damaging. It takes courage and strength to clear out this clutter. Instead of seeing it as overwhelming, see it as a way to inner peace. Start by recognizing your inner voice, then question its’ validity. Watch out when using broad sweeping statements such as, “always,” or “never,” as that’s likely a sign of emotional clutter. Reframing these thoughts will build new brain circuitry and improve inner peace.
Make yourself uncomfortable
Honestly, if you master discomfort you can master anything. When we challenge ourselves we are building dense networks of connections between brain cells, called cognitive reserve. What does that mean to us? We can beat procrastination, start a new habit, learn a new language, speak on stage, and do things that once felt impossible. We become better people, bosses, family members, and neighbors when we challenge ourselves.
My list as a new 6th grader may have been a bit self-absorbed, but what I learned is that adaptability is about checking in, cleaning clutter and leaning in to discomfort.
You’ve got this!