Leveling Up Comes With Lots of Change – Leadership is a Choice #48

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

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It is Monday morning and it is beautiful outside. The crazy mid-west weather has gone from 3 inches of snow to 85 gorgeous degrees overnight. As I drove to work today I watched the sun rise over the corn fields and eventually the crowded together buildings and I thought – “What a beautiful way to start a week.”

I know that’s not the typical Monday morning attitude. Most are hunting for coffee and dreading the five long work days before they reach that next break. But think about the cycle that creates. Misery (in whatever form you choose for it to take) all week as you wait for the weekend. Then all weekend dreading the Sunday sunset because it means another work week just hours away.

Why do we choose that? Why do we choose to look at life as a constant waiting game and then when we get what we’ve waited for we spend more time praying for the clock to slow down than actually enjoying the moment?

I have no idea why. I often get stuck looking for the why behind my behaviors or thought patterns, but the why doesn’t really matter. Life is about the results. If I like the results of the thing I am doing then the why is very clear, because I get something out of it that I want. If I don’t like the results I am getting then the why still doesn’t matter because all I have to do is choose to do something different, something where I do like the results.

For instance yesterday – instead of celebrating and enjoying the absolutely amazing weekend filled with family and loved ones I was busy stressing about all the change that is happening in my life. Standing in the middle of the bedroom I stared off into space trying to organize all of my thoughts – this and that about work and then the house and movers and what about this or that…oh and then I need to still do this and call that person to do this thing.

I stood there completely consumed in organizing it all. The weight of everything was growing with every new thought and anxiety came as an unwelcome old acquaintance.

I had a choice in that moment (and every other moment). I could choose to allow the stress and the weight of everything to overwhelm me and take me directly below the line, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Or I could make a different choice and bask in the joy and excitement of what all of this change is coming from. All of this change is the symptom of amazing things happening in my life.

Transparently: I chose to allow the stress to swallow me up that night, BUT I only allowed it for the night. (WIN!) Fast forward to the drive I was describing watching the sun crawl over the sprawling fields and then crowded downtown and it was during that drive I realized what the change really means.

It means I am leveling up. Improving. Just like in a video game – I completed one level and am moving to the next. This more advanced level comes with more challenges and more bad guys to face, and it requires more practice and personal growth before it will allow me to move ahead further.

Yes change sucks – yes it is hard – yes it is uncomfortable and different, but it is the direct result of what I want.

The beauty is I HAVE A CHOICE in how I respond to all of the change that comes with this new level of life. Ironically teaching my customers/clients how to respond to change is a part of my daily life, but when practicing myself it was the first thing I forgot.

The things that consume your mind, the items that fill your to-do lists, and everything that triggers your anxiety are all (on some level) a task required to get something you want.

For example – no one likes gathering everything needed to please the tax man. If you don’t prepare them yourself then there is the added stress of finding an accountant you trust and providing them with anything they need. We do it because we do not want to have the IRS come after us and more importantly to get those precious refund checks.

We don’t look at it that way – if we do get a refund we complain about how small it is or rant to friends and neighbors about all the money the government gets.

I just did this exact same thing in the process of purchasing my house. Every day is a new request for this document or that document, this statement or that payment history. I made the choice to complain about all of this, frustrated with gathering it all, communicating it and re-communicating it as the loan went through the different steps.

So what would happen if I changed how I thought about all of it and instead of focusing on how annoying or frustrating it is to gather every financial document I have I would focus on how amazing it is going to feel that first night in a new home with my family.

Here are the cliff notes – we are selfish people so when we do something where we can’t see what we get out of it directly we tend to complain or drag our feet from the weight of the stress. When we see and focus on the shiny thing we get then all of sudden it is easy to take on anything that is required to reach that bauble.

Focus on what you get (the positive) and spend less time complaining, ranting, dreading, or praying for the clock to slow. Instead look around you, watch the sun rise over the houses on your drive to work and take a breath – enjoy this moment and every one to follow. You chose all of it.

 

Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of nonprofit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

Posted in Responsibility on 04/25/2016 09:58 am
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