I’m going to be one of the speakers this year at The Agents of Change Conference to help any struggling podcasters or would-be podcasters to overcome obstacles and set themselves up for success. As you guys know I love talking about stress, fear, taking risks, overcoming self-doubt. It sounds so dark but these are juicy topics and the other side of these things is heaven. But you can’t go around these things you have to go through.
Which segues nicely into my topic today ...
Each part of your life is likely in different parts of the cycle. This is why we commonly have the experience of feeling like there are always some areas of our life in which we are winning and other areas that feel like we are struggling.
Using the card game analogy for The Cycle of Change there are several phases. Before you play a card game you have to decide what game you’re going to play. This usually happens as you’ve started to shuffle the cards so this phase is called The Shuffle Phase. The game is chosen and cards are dealt. During The Deal Phase your mind is considering your resources, the other players, a strategy is chosen and you are formulating a plan. Then you move into the phase called Play the Game. Obviously, this is the phase of movement and action. Then the game comes to a close and you are now in The Toss in Phase. During this phase you are absorbing what just happened and either celebrating a victory or considering how you feel about defeat.
All things come to an end and typically people are rarely ready for the cycle to end because when you’re in the Playing the Game phase there’s a lot of energy and excitement. At the end, the Toss In, there is loss, grief, confusion or a lack of clarity for what’s next. Whether it is the end of a job role or a relationship, people in this part of the cycle are usually unhappy and cannot see how they will be able to go through it all again.
In this part of The Cycle of Change you will take little action on your own and resist change because of fear and uncertainty, and depending on how the last phase ended, there may be a lack of hope. You may also feel victimized and like you don’t have control over your circumstances. You may find yourself being grumpier, ill at ease, and even experiencing pain more.
At the end of the Toss In, there can be an intense state of “hibernation” or “cocooning,” which if you’ve read my book you’ll be very familiar with. This state will eventually passes, and if you let yourself just be during this phase you will naturally find yourself getting renewed and re-energized, ready for the next phase.
Okay, for me, over the summer I noticed myself starting to feel stretched. I was happy with the way the 100% Jodi episodes were going but I was not looking forward to starting up my interviews again. I also was feeling a lack of vibrancy overall in my business. Now, some of this can be attributed to the lower engagement that typically comes with the summer but it felt like something more. I knew then, and know now, somethings needed to change for me to get back to being in alignment.
I don’t want there to be any judgment in this. I love the women I’ve interviewed on Women Taking the Lead and I love this community. I could get emotional because you all don’t know the impact you’ve had on me. I am fulfilling my life’s purpose because of you and I don’t for a moment lose sight of that.
How do I describe it? It was like my skin was drying up and getting tight. I didn’t fit in my skin anymore. I haven’t been sleeping well over the summer, I noticed I wasn’t setting good boundaries with others and that only caused me to feel more depleted.
I definitely feel myself turning a corner, though I’m still in the Toss In phase. It’s like I’ve started to shed that old skin but the new skin underneath is so new it’s still sensitive to the environment. I feel an unravelling of an old identity but my new identity is not fully formed yet.
This past weekend I was so low energy I barely did anything. I could have sat and stared out the window living in a world of my own thoughts and imaginings for hours on end. The problem I had was there was so much to DO that I could feel guilt creeping in even though I knew sitting still was what I really needed to do.
I want to step off the path here but not too far to talk about Sanebox. This is actually very relevant to what we are talking about because while I’ve been experiencing low energy what has been saving my butt and yes, my sanity, is Sanebox. I’m so into this software I signed up for it myself when my free 2-week trial expired. Sanebox is a software you integrate with your email service and it automatically sorts low-priority and waste of time emails into a folder that you can check at any time but the key is it’s not clogging up your inbox. When everything is hitting the inbox it can get overwhelming and then everything feels like a priority causing you to invest your peak times of day on emails that are not important. Go to sanebox.com/lead to sign up for your 2-week FREE trial and see if SaneBox can save your day like it saved mine. If you end up subscribing you’ll also get a $20 credit that will be applied to your first year of service.
Alright, after The Agents of Change tomorrow I’ll definitely be taking some guilt-free time doing whatever I feel like I need to do in the moment. I’ve got a weekend of puttering on my agenda and it may look like a lot of nothing.
Some things have come to light and some changes have already been made. Last week’s “On-Air Coaching” episode with Terri DeCoster is one of them. Starting in October you’ll also notice a format change with my interview. I have removed the Wake-up call question, because that typically comes out in the Playing Small question, and I’ve added some coaching to the interviews. When my guest answers what their biggest challenge currently is I’m taking 5 minutes or so to talk through it with them.
I’ve already recorded two of those episode and I and my guest were happy with the results.
It’s funny, I resisted doing any “on-air coaching” for over a year and now it’s going to be in every interview episode and that feels right that feels more in alignment.
Over the summer I also started diving more into the concept of the masculine and feminine energy that is in each of us, and especially for me. Being Type-A, and being a business owner I tend to bring forth more masculine energy although at my core I am more naturally feminine.
This is evident to me because I will often find myself in a cycle of go-go-go and then crash and recover, go-go-go, crash and recover.
I’d like to explore bringing more feminine energy to my business and see how that plays out. I’m diving into this and going where my research takes me in terms of conversations, books, podcasts, Youtube videos. If you are into this and you have any resources to recommend to me please reach out. I’d love to hear about them.
What is this going to look like for me and my business? I don’t know yet. It’s scary and exciting but it feels right to follow this path and see how it all plays out.
What I do know is I want to continue to share this with you. I want to continue to be more open and vulnerable with you. Thank you all for the amazing feedback I got from the episode on spiritually. Releasing that episode was not easy for me but you affirmed for me it was the right thing to do. I want to continue to have the courage to share my journey in the hopes it help you on your journey.
Speaking of which…if as I described the Toss In Phase it sounded like what you might be going through right now I’ve got some guidance for you that may help to ease the discomfort of being in this phase.
One, Don’t try to rush through it because you feel uncomfortable. It is normal for this phase to feel uncomfortable and unnatural, especially if you are living in a culture that celebrates achievement, getting things done.
People may not understand your need to withdraw for a while but the reflection and contemplation you will do while you are feeling low energy is critical to gaining clarity to go into the next phase.
If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in indecision because you just had no clue what you did or did not want it was probably because you skipped past the Toss In phase and so never got the information you needed to do the next phase well.
In this stage of grieving you are doing an analysis of what went right and what went wrong while you were in the Cycle of Change. Not only your thoughts, you are considering your feelings, actions and the results you got during that cycle. That is important information that you need to synthesis and then integrate to strengthen you to move forward.
Do the work. And the work looks like being with yourself even if it feels yucky.
Two, fear, anxiety, doubt, loss and anger are all normal during this phase. You may need to vent to release the emotion. Find people you trust implicitly and make it clear to them you don’t need them to fix you or make you feel better, you just need them to hear you and validate where you are. Let them know you’ll tell them when you are ready to take some action but until then you need them to respect where you are in the process. It may help to explain to them that this is a grieving process.
Three, look for the positives. What do you have to be grateful for? What is going well? What can you count on? This will give you some foundation to stand on while other things feel like they are coming undone.
Lastly, be good to yourself. Give yourself some guilt-free space to just be for a while without the need to do, accomplish or achieve anything in the area of life you are experiencing the Toss In phase.
Remember, this too shall pass but don’t force it. Otherwise, you’ll just find your back here again without having made any progress.
As I mentioned, there is information and resources that can help you. I don’t talk specifically about these phases in the book but it all applies. Go to https://womentakingthelead.com/accomplished to get more information and find where you can buy it online.
I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!
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