We all talk about positive change and growth throughout our lives. There are thousands of books, seminars and self-help courses on the subject. We all have our unique stories of change to inspire others. Today I will share my thoughts on it, how I experience it, how my faith plays a role and what season I find myself in.
Change happens to us throughout our entire lives whether intentional or not. It can be for the better, other times it’s for the not so good and then again what starts off as not so good turns into something very special and inspirational to others. Good healthy change that we all strive for sometimes comes easy or naturally, but typically it requires hard work and, on some occasions, it can be downright painful. Painful in that it might require us to give up something that is holding us back, like a vocation we enjoy, where we grew up, a group of friends or toxic relationship(s). Sometimes the change we desire to make is clear right away and other times it takes months/years to understand what is gnawing at us and what that change is. Ultimately, we seek intentional change to not only discover who we are, but our purpose in life. For some their purpose comes early in life, some at a much later stage and still others their purpose might change a few times depending on the season of life they are in.
Change to Inspire Others
We all experience change in unique ways and there are different drivers to change. Self-awareness/assessment and influence drive most of life’s improvements and then there are turning points. Life’s events that change the direction of our life causing us to go down a totally new unexpectant path. Some changes are minor improvements we make to our lives, while others are truly transformational changing who we are, what we do and/or the community we belong to. Turning points can force our hand causing us to move from our comfort zones taking those steps we have failed to do on our own. Typically, due to fear, procrastination, laziness, or life is just easy now and we do not want to disrupt it.
For anyone who follows me you know I am big on continuous growth and change. My life’s work has been dedicated to helping organizations change or transform into a better model of their old selves. While I deal with change day in and day out professionally, personally I experience and handle it differently at times. Let’s just say I don’t always practice what I preach to my clients in handling my own personal change and experience it in similar ways that you most likely do.
So, what does the process of change look like in my life? Most, typically begin with an initial thought, epiphany, someone or something influencing me in some way, or it’s an event that may or may not be a turning point in my life. God puts these different catalysts in our lives to initiate change. Some of the bigger changes though start with a deep sense of discontentment or that something is not quite right, but not quite sure what it is. There are times where it can physically prevent you from carrying on in one or multiple aspects of your life. This feeling usually goes on for months until a vision becomes clear. Which leads me to the dream stage – or what I call the design phase of change. This is where you begin visualizing the change, think it through analyzing the pros/cons, next steps, etc. and in general imagining how this will affect your life. Depending on the degree of change this is also where procrastination, fear or simply over analyzing the situation can creep in causing us to second guess. I will admit this is where for bigger changes in my life God has had to nudge me to move at times. I have seen secure long term client projects cancelled overnight to force me to move in a better direction, homes not sell so I did not make a bad decision or sell to nudge me to make that move across the country.
Really at this stage we must just take the first step, not over thinking it or trying to figure out all the steps. Just start moving, putting faith in God and let things work themselves out. Its fascinating how simply starting to act gets your mind and creativity going which generates momentum and begins to produce answers and the next steps to take. However, on some occasions there can also be a stopping point where no matter what you do nothing is happening or things are out of your control. This is where discouragement can enter the picture and make most stop and turn back, but this is where I learned to wait patiently on God to make things happen. This used to be exceedingly difficult for me, but as I grew older and witnessed the benefits of letting God act on his time, I grew more comfortable and confidence in this stage of waiting. Finally, through all the effort and perseverance we eventually evolve into a better form of ourselves.
Now I find myself in a season of change and most likely a turning point in my life. This deep sense of moving in a possible new direction started pre-COVID, and its taken months of searching and asking where it is you want me to go, to understand what that might be. I have always had a passion for helping people and organizations to see hope to build a better reality. I do this for organizations and people in my consulting practice. However, now I find myself asking is what I am doing enough? We are all blessed with unique talents and passions. But I witness far too many people not maximizing, or even using, their talents to follow their passions. It’s something I am desiring to see more people accomplish.
A few months back a minister at our church, @lothepoet, in his Sunday message posed the question “Are you building God’s kingdom or yours?” and it really stuck with me. I felt like God was speaking directly to me. It felt as though he was saying, you are doing pretty good, but you know what, with what I have blessed you with, you are ready to do more. So here I am at a turning point, ready to take on the will of God. And while change can be scary, and uncomfortable, it is through change that we grow.
Where are you in your journey of change?
How do you strive to inspire others? Let us know in a comment below!