I hope this post finds you healthy and well, maybe not everything going perfectly but seeing some sort of a light at the end of this tunnel. I truly believe we are all going to get through this and be okay and I believe this because we always do.
We always get through our worst days, we always come out the other side of things. The question always is, really, “what do we want to experience while we’re going through it? Who do we want to be, how do we want to show up as?
So, I have been using these episodes as a way to support you and let you know you are not alone and what you are going through is very normal.
Last week, I introduced The Cycle of Change using the analogy of a card game as I learned it through iPEC Coaching. I gave an overview of the four phases you can find yourself, in any area of your life. I’m going to dive into each phase and I started with the phase that we are all probably finding ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toss In phase.
We don’t go through The Cycle of Change once; we go through it over and over again with each cycle ending in the Toss in. The Toss In is a stage of completion and probably some bittersweet feelings as you start to accept everything that happened in the last phase.
Eventually, you start emotionally detaching from the last phase and in some cases, there may be a physical separation from the environment and people who were in the last cycle with you. This is true in the cases of buying a new home, ending a relationship, changing jobs, starting a new business, etc.
So, using the card game analogy, this is when the last game comes to an end but you’re still alive and so you will continue to play one game or another. Again, it’s a continuous cycle.
The phase that comes after the Toss In phase is the “Shuffle” phase. It is a non-committal phase where you want to contemplate what was and what could be next. In the Toss In phase of non-action, the contemplating and reflecting had more to do with grieving and letting go of the past and what could have been.
In the Shuffle phase the contemplation and reflection moves toward focusing mostly on possibilities for the future.
I know a lot of you will feel uncomfortable allowing for inactivity for an indefinite amount of time. But believe me, if you give yourself the space to do this you will then naturally begin to move into the part of The Shuffle phase where you begin to research and network, and you will find the next thing that will re-energize and re-engage you.
When you enter The Shuffle phase you will find that you are better able to deal with the pain you began experiencing in the Toss In phase. You will also find you are better able to think on those events from the last cycle without becoming emotional. Rather, you can reframe what happened and logically process the information to find what worked and what didn’t work, giving you more expertise moving into this new cycle.
This is also the phase where you will evaluate where you are in your life. You’ll examine your core values and feelings so you can decide what is really important to you in your life and that will help you decide where you want to move next and how you want to play that game.
If you are in the beginning of this phase, you’ll likely feel that you have lost control in this area of your life and that may spill over into other areas because you will second guess yourself. However, you’re also likely feeling like there’s an opportunity here for you – you just don’t know what it is yet.
This is also a phase in which you will likely experience spiritual growth because of the need to go inward and connect with something greater, causing a leap in personal growth.
At the end of this phase you will have more inner strength, a plan to grow, and renewed energy. You will have a new vision for the future which will give you hope and a new purpose.
With all of this you will have more enthusiasm going into each day and will probably be breathing a sigh of relief that you can now move on and DO something.
If you allow yourself to do the kind of work required in this phase (reflecting and researching) you will be able to focus on the right activities that will move you forward, rather than engaging in activities that are just what you think you “should” be doing.
If you find you are enthusiastic about researching, exploring new ideas, and networking and connecting with people who can move you forward in this area, you are likely well into this phase.
I believe that because we are getting news about some of the restrictions due to COVID-19 being lifted many of us are starting to come out of the Toss-in phase and getting into the Shuffle phase.
You may have come to a place of acceptance that while some things will be allowed this summer it will be far from normal. In the Toss-in phase there is grief for what was lost, in the Shuffle phase you begin to think about creating some new activities and traditions.
I’ve already had friends say, “we can’t sit in a restaurant but we can grab take out and sit 6 feet apart either on a large blanket or at a picnic table.”
You may have already started reaching out to people you know to explore new business or career opportunities. You team may be literally “shuffling” responsibilities to allow for more growth and development.
If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. This phase begins with contemplation. That can look like long walks by yourself, sitting in your yard or staring at nothing. As you move toward the end of this phase you begin researching and networking to explore ideas.
Wherever you are, you are the perfect place for you.
Here are some things that may help you take advantage of The Shuffle phase.
First, trust that everything you need to move through this phase will come to you. You don’t have to control or force it, just let it unfold and follow what interests you. Your curiosity and your interests are your north star right now.
Second, if you’re starting to reach out to others, only give your time and energy to those who want your highest good. Avoid those who seem to be pushing or pulling you in a direction that doesn’t feel good or make sense to you right now. If you can sense judgment coming from them, just put some space between you and them for a while.
Third, when you’re ready to take a little bit of action, don’t overthink it. Just start somewhere. You can always pivot if your first moves aren’t giving you the information that you need.
Fourth, there may be some anxiety and you will likely find yourself coming face-to-face with beliefs or automatic ways of being from the past that make you anxious and hold you back. Confront them and challenge the truth of it.
For instance, for me an old belief that I get confronted with on occasion is the belief that if I have needs then I am burdensome and a bother to people. In this phase, that would hold me back from reaching out to others to ask them to impart their wisdom to me. The reality is, those with wisdom crave the opportunity to pass on what they know to those who are ready to receive it.
When I am confronted with thoughts like, “they have so much going on, I don’t want to disturb them”, I have to consciously let that go and trust that if I they really don’t have time for me, they will kindly let me know.
Lastly, when you’re ready, begin creating goals and a plan to accomplish those goals. Then decide how and when you want to begin. Tap on those people who have your highest good at heart. They want to help in this stage because you are acting in alignment with your own highest good.
If this was helpful to you, I’m going to ask a favor. Please share this episode with a friend or colleague whom you know could benefit from this information. It’s sharing resources that helps us all get through tough times.
I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!
Zebralove Web Solutions: Your website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!
Private Facebook Community: Chat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!
Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing: A simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.
Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!