For learning and development mentor Petra Crampton, change is a brilliant opportunity to grow and one we should all relish. She explains more below…
“Embrace your change…” Easily said, however, not that easily done. Change means leaving our comfort zone and taking a different direction. Start driving towards the unknown. If change is forced upon us, something we did not sign up for, it is even harder.
Heavy emotions like injustice, betrayal are involved. They climb on us and settle inside us, making a new home. They suck our energy. Physically we can feel a pressure on our chest for instance.
An example of a forced change can be redundancy. A topic or fear that might hang above people nowadays.
Despite the fact it is hard, I am a big believer that if we embrace change, if we decide to face it and deal with it, then the transformation is an amazing joy ride with fruitful success at the end.
Change is a topic very close to my heart. I lived in different countries, worked in different languages, worked with different cultures. I have to change and adapt a lot. The beginnings were not easy however, once I grasped it, the transformation was a true treasure. The best part is that it never ends. I am learning and developing every day. The joyride is on my daily menu. Read below about my change process I call “NAIL” it. You might find a piece of inspiration there.
N stands for New Ground
When the heavy feelings take over our life we feel destabilised. It is necessary to grab the control back. To regain stability.
Trying to solve things immediately is not going to work. I just prefer to ground myself and connect with my body. Calm the spinning mind down.
Connecting to my body literally means to stand up, take several deep breaths, move, do 5 to 10 squats. Even better, I would go for a walk or a run or go to the gym. It might sound silly but that little act has a massive impact.
We gain our control and confidence back by feeling our legs supporting us. We are in charge of our body and we can face the situation in front of us much easier. It is not going to disappear but we can face it.
Try it. Do you feel that pressure on your chest or do you feel overwhelmed? Just stand up and take a deep breath. Feel the sensation for yourself.
A stands for: Allow emotions
There was a time in my life when I would not show my emotions. I pushed my emotions away. To be honest I was afraid of them.
Emotions and feelings are part of our life and they are stronger than logic. Allowing emotions and especially processing them is so important in our life.
Strong people are not emotional we are told. This is so wrong in my opinion.
Respecting and being compassionate with ourselves is our gift we should all just grab. Processing emotions does not mean indulging or entertaining the negativity. It is not playing the victim.
It is about giving myself a space to embrace my emotions. To name them. This could be a tricky exercise, as we are not used to calling out our emotions. Yet, it is a very useful and enlightening practise.
Feeling the sensations in our body is also part of the process. Do I sense any physical difficulties or oppressions in my body related to how I feel?
Emotions are like any situation – they come and go. Like bad weather, after a thunderstorm the sun comes out.
Feel and name the emotions. Nevertheless, do not identify with your emotions as who you are as a person. Recognise them, “cuddle” them, and although they tried to inhabit in us we kindly let them go. Remember we are in control.
I cannot stress out how important this step really is. Unprocessed emotions, the ones we push away, will come back. For example: we might experience a similar situation again and again or they can imprint psychosomatically into our body.
I stands for: Invincible mindset
Our thoughts create our feelings. Change what you think and you change how you feel. 100% true and yes, I hear you – easy to say but… But, we have already managed to gain our control and allow emotions and we will nail this one too.
Mindset is a superpower. It can be a loyal servant or a dreadful slave master. We want to master our mind so that it serves us. Switch off the autopilot option and be in charge of your thoughts.
There are between 60 to 70 thousands thoughts flying through our brain every day; both in consciousness and unconsciousness.
Anyhow, this is a very fast F1 race. There are tools such as mindfulness, mediation or yoga, which help us to slow down this chase to be able to analyse our thinking.
I would like to suggest here that you will love this part because you are going to be fully in charge and control.
This is how it goes:
• A thought arrives, you check, analyse and evaluate it.
• Does it serve me? Does it make me feel good? Will I keep it and elaborate on it?
• Or is this one ready to be tossed away as it is only blocking my growth?
Be the master not the servant of your mind.
L stands for: Line up your fix
I am in control of my body, emotions and my mind. So what is next? Now it’s the time to fix the challenge we are facing. Line up your structured, step-by-step action plan.
Let me grab that forced change I did not sign up for and turn it into an opportunity. My determination is my driver. Taking the earlier example of redundancy here is a possible fix list:
• Do the numbers game aka understand your financial fears – grab a calculator or Excel spreadsheet (I love Excel spreadsheets), plug in the numbers, see them with our own eyes, show them to your brain (btw our brain loves that). Count what and plan how much and how long
• Review your skill sets – soft and hard skills
• SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of yourself
• Revise your talents – great opportunity to unleash your hidden talents and gems of yours. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?
• Your CV and LinkedIn profile refit
• Catch and match game – do you see any interesting job openings meeting your skills?
The fixing part is about our discipline and willingness to action. We are strong masters now. We know how to control our body, emotions and mind. And if we slip on the way, it is ok. This process can get us easily back on track.
If we embrace change and decide we are going to nail it, it is a beautiful journey. It opens doors and possibilities for us that we may not even imagined before.
Also, we do not have to do it alone. There are many people that can guide us, offer the supporting hand or be the tree we can lean on if we stumble.
Friends and family can serve us as listeners, we need a clean chest and we need to spit things out. I highly recommend getting an accountability buddy; support and tough love combination works wonders.
There are coaches, mentors and therapist who can assist you further depending the kind of support you prefer.
A therapist will provide a safe environment for you to open and lay down all the weights you carry around.
Classical coaching is about asking the right question to search answers and gems inside of you.
A mentor shares opinions, experiences and advises you. They also provide tools to help on the journey.
Personally, I choose a combination of a coach and mentor as it accelerates my pace towards my victory.
Finally allow me to say that whatever you decide to do, do it your way. You are the master, choose your pace and path how it fits you and your needs. Follow your compassionate instinct. Enjoy it. Have fun and stay yourself!
Having a rich experience from multinational corporate environment and being a certified coach, Petra shows others how to maximise their potential and happiness. She supports people in enjoying their corporate role, finding joy, purpose and compensation. Yet keeping work life balance.
She lived in different countries and moved around a lot. Originally, she comes from Czech Republic. She learnt French in 3 months and is very proud at herself for this.
She never stopped developing because personal growth is her life journey.
She help others to discover their possible blocking behaviours, get them unstuck and to transform them towards the life they want to have. Petra values honesty and openness, which people get, when pursuing their journey with her.
She runs a community called: Change is your friend (of course). There you can get tips, advice and have fun with like-minded people.
If you want a support on your personal or career development journey, get in touch with her via: