jen spencer coaches

What to do when growth and change kind of suck
04 08 14, 6:14 pm
Filed under: General, Growth + Development, How-To's, Thought-Provoking

Grown-ups have growing pains, too. As we move from one phase/chapter/stage to another, there is always a transitional period that can be just brutal. A great desire to move to the next phase can alleviate some of the pain, but it never makes it go away. 

We are creatures of habit, and doing new things, while exciting, requires mojo, acceptance, perseverance and compassion to get us to the other side without being maimed.

I’ve experienced one of the most difficult periods of my business and career these last six months. I signed up for it, and I wanted it. I put the blinders on, so I could focus on growth and expansion. I pushed really hard, even when I didn’twant” to because I knew in my heart and soul that not doing it wasn’t an option. 

I made mistakes. A lot of them. And it got very messy — in every sense. I was working every night, never exercising and letting papers pile up on the dining table. Do you know the feeling? I got stuck in the rhythm of doing so much that I forgot to be while I was “in it.” And that lack of presence and perspective disconnected me from the bigger picture. I was so attached to it happening the way I wanted it to that I missed the magic.

It’s much easier to see the transitions in hindsight. 

Steve Jobs said it perfectly:


You can’t connect the dots moving forward.  You can only connect them looking backwards.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever…because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path . And that will make all the difference.

We all have plans, but rarely do the plans get executed to perfection and create the results they were meant to. Change most always brings us surprise –  welcomed and unwanted surprise.  When we’re in the thick of uncertainty and ambiguity, we have the opportunity to trust that we’ll be able to connect the dots soon. 

When was the last time you were stretched and challenged to the point of awkward discomfort?  Perhaps it was a project you birthed.  A relationship you created, changed or ended. A change in your leadership style to help your teams thrive. A course change because your behavior wasn’t getting you where you wanted to go. 

Here are some tips to keep you sane through big shifts, even when it feels uncomfortable….

Create the plan. When the end point seems distant, map out the milestones that will get you there.

Dig in. Some short-term upheaval is part of making a big change. Power through it, knowing that it’s temporary.

Own the inevitable discomfort by feeling it and sharing it with trusted people in your world.

Be gentle on yourself – that’s not easy for us as high achievers with high expectations.

When it’s really hard, know it will pass.

Celebrate the wins along the way to keep yourself going.

You will be different on the other side.  That’s the beauty of evolution.

Championing your creations and shifts,

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