Were you one of the people who, when the pandemic shut downs began, took a step back to reflect on how you were living your life; checking in to see if you were on the right track?
If you didn’t like what you were seeing, you’ve probably been doing some research to see what changes you could make and how to make those changes. From there, the next natural step is to get into action.
When the pandemic began, I redid a series on the Cycle of Change and completed 3 of the 4 phases that make up the Cycle of Change. The phases I covered were: The Toss-In Phase or the ending of a cycle, The Shuffle Phase which includes deciding what you want to do next, and The Deal Phase when you decide what strategy you’ll utilize in the next phase.
The timing did not feel right to cover the final phase back in the spring but I am feeling it now.
In this episode, we’re going to cover the fourth and final phase of the cycle of change, Play the Game.
Hi, I’m Jodi Flynn and welcome to the Women Taking the Lead podcast. I’m an executive leadership coach, author, speaker, workshop facilitator and I have the joy to work with women leaders who want to hone the skills they’ll need to thrive in Senior Leadership. I know I’ve met a woman I would love to work with when we start having a few laughs about our tendencies toward perfectionism and people pleasing.
Originally from Massachusetts I have been living in Maine for the past 18 years. Thanks to the beauty of technology I’ve been able to work with women all over the world. If you have a device and Wi-Fi we can work together.
I do individual coaching as well as workshops and team retreats. I am currently in the processes of taking my coaching system and turning it into an online course for those who prefer a Do-It-Yourself model of learning.
I am the current President of the board for The Maine Women's Conference and I am a Curriculum Partner for a Women’s Leadership development program through Real Women Collective Action (RWCA).
I spend my free time catching up with friends and family, FaceTiming my boyfriend who lives in Virginia, working out and watching the Great British Baking Show.
“Play the Game” is an exciting and mostly positive time during the Cycle of Change when you are all-in to live your dreams and reach new levels of success, fulfillment and well-being.
Whereas in previous stages you were either reflecting on the past or imagining the future, this phase is about being fully in the moment.
You are living the strategy and the plan you created in The Deal Phase.
It is a time of action but the amount of action you will take in this phase is based on your personality, how clear you are on your goal, how feasible your plan is and how much support you have.
That’s why The Deal Phase is so crucial to set you up for success in this phase, though most plans will work if you can only get out of your own way.
What that means is in the Play the Game Phase it’s important to manage your inner critic, which always comes to life when you are doing something new, big or scary. This is where self-doubt can start to plague you and if you allow it too much power you will unconsciously begin to self-sabotage.
Know that it is natural and normal for your inner critic to try to have a field day with you. Change the perspective that hearing your inner critic is a bad thing. Rather, hearing your inner critic means you are playing full out and that’s a great thing.
If you are able to manage your inner critic you will, for the most part, feel harmonious, optimistic, determined and fully alive.
If you are able to remain flexible you will be able to pivot and adjust if things don’t go according to plan. Let’s face it, things rarely go exactly according to plan so it’s important not to get too attached to the plan or judge yourself and others too harshly for not expecting the unexpected.
Things may not go as planned but you are 100% in.
While this stage is usually associated with wins and success, it can also be the setting for disappointments, setbacks, and new challenges. You can probably look back on times in your life where the Play the Game Phase of the Cycle of Change did not go well.
If this is happening to you right now it’s important not to judge yourself too harshly. Look on what is happening as a valuable lesson that you can examine and learn from so you go into the next Cycle of Change stronger and wiser.
Place your focus on what is working and what is not working without judgment and you’ll be able to make adjustments and pivot pretty easily because you won’t be heaping the past and emotion on the situation. Remain nimble and empowered by staying curious and looking for opportunities no matter what is happening.
People typically love this phase the most out of all of the four phases and wish it would continue on like this indefinitely, or better yet, for the rest of their lives.
Although that sounds great, chances are if you are still open to growth and being your best-self, you will be back in the Toss In Phase and the cycle will begin once again. It doesn’t mean you’ve backtracked, it actually means you are moving forward, even though it may not feel like it at first.
For instance, have you ever hit a time in your life when you want to stay in action because being in action makes you feel productive? However, if you are not regularly taking time and a step back to reflect on the goal and your progress, and making sure you are using the best strategy you will limit your own progress.
Every phase of the Cycle of Change is important and requires your participation, even if participating looks like sitting idle and looking out a window or writing in a journal. Powerful things are happening internally that will increase your chances of success the next time you find yourself ready to Play the Game.
What phase of the Cycle of Change are you currently in, in regard to your career? I’d love to hear from you. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment wherever you see a post for this episode.
Also, please share this episode with anyone in your life whom you think could benefit from it. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways for us to find the resources we need to make changes in our lives.
As always, I hope this was helpful to you and here’s to your success.
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