Is there something you've been telling yourself that you’ll just “wait for a while” to deal with?
And if so... are you sure that waiting is really the right move?
If your world is anything like mine, you might have noticed that a lot’s been getting stirred up lately. In the economy. In social justice. In business. In politics. In healthcare. Among my family. Among my clients. Among my friends. Things have been coming to a head.
If I believed in coincidences, I’d be pretty surprised and impressed that so many people, organizations and systems are going through so many big changes right now at the very same time.
But I don’t. Instead, what I see is that we human beings have made unconscious choices for years that have led to a lack of sustainability in both our individual human systems and the large-scale structural systems in which we live.
Lack of sustainability is a funny thing… like when we hear ourselves saying: "this way of living, working, relating, spending etc. 'is not really sustainable'..."
linguistically it indicates that what’s happening now cannot work forever. Yet it still tends to leave us kicking the ball further down the field – especially when the change would be hard to make… or we’re just not sure how to do it.
I’ll deal with it later.
I’m busy… I’ll take care of that tomorrow.
I can’t afford to put attention (or dollars) on solving it now. Let’s wait ‘till 2021.
Then, rather than facing a tough problem with lots of unknowns and some solid lead time to address it… we find ourselves facing chaos. A crash. A missed opportunity. An urgent problem with impossible, irreconcilable contradictions, and zero lead time to address it.
Sound better? Of course not. But we still make these types of decisions in our lives and in our businesses every day.
When we build habits, structures, businesses and lives that won’t work in the long run, at some point things are going to have to change. And the scary thing is… we actually don’t know when. That means we’re 100% at the mercy of something other than ourselves to decide.
In the worst case scenario, we’ll find ourselves facing a moment of change or die.
But still, we wait.
One of the biggest enemies to progress is the false belief that whatever we're afraid to face right now will be easier to deal with (or we'll know better how to deal with it) down the road.
Yes, sometimes things do work themselves out.
But like the 10-year-in-the-making “overnight success” stories we all know and love, your “easy future solution” is much more likely to show itself when you start facing and actively attending to the problem now.
Why am I writing this blog today?
Because over the past few months, I’ve had conversations with a whole lot of women and teams, who reached out to me with “urgent” needs for help…
and who later, when faced with the decision to step in and receive support, decided that it could “wait till next year.”
For some of these folks, I can say from my 15 years of experience that they made the right call. For a larger majority, I can tell you with near certainty that the punt will take them back into a cycle of the same old unsustainable habits, behaviors and structures – and likely create more consequences to clean-up on the other side.
As a coach and consultant, I’ve built my career on seeing patterns that take shape in human systems, and successfully projecting future outcomes based on today’s conscious and unconscious actions.
What I've found is that we have the MOST momentum and power to orchestrate an important change at the moment when we have the initial intuition that inspires us to ask for help. Even when it doesn't seem like you have the resources (financial, emotional, mental or otherwise) to break through... the truth is, your decision and commitment to change is like a magnet that will bring you exactly what you need next.
It's your clarity that generates the momentum.
On the flip-side, when you walk away from your initial knowing and choose not to take the leap now... you forgo all of that ready-to-go momentum, and will need to generate it again.
How? Often, it's a next-level breakdown – a personal crisis or professional mis-fire – rather than a time of greater ease or more accessible resources, that will bring you back to the point of change again.
Mostly, what I want you to know today is that if you know a change is needed, then your knowing means it's time... and waiting rarely makes it easier.
Mostly, what I’ve found is that this strange and challenging COVID pause is the perfect time to take a look at what’s truly not sustainable and take new actions.
Mostly, what I want you to consider this week is:
What have you been telling yourself that you’ll just “wait for a while” to deal with?
What would it look like to start proactively facing it now?
And... what are the hidden potential costs, if you don't?
Deciding to face your critical challenges NOW is an act of courage.
It's also an act of self love.
This week I am celebrating the graduation of a cohort of seventeen such courageous women who made the decision to use this moment as an opportunity to proactively re-configure their leadership, their work and their lives… and while it hasn’t been easy, the results have been utterly inspiring.
Mostly... I want this same kind of breakthrough for you – in whatever domain has been lighting up for you, during this strange and unusual time.
With fierce care and compassion,
PS – I have two spaces open for executive-level coaching this fall. If you run or lead a business, and you know it’s time for a critical change, go here to apply.