In part 1, we talked about how to find your humanity….your passion…your purpose… and anchor to it in times of change. Allow it to serve as your compass or North Star to help you in your decisions and keep you on your path, as change can be disorienting and distracting. Our need to be perfect and our need to control the outcome of every event work together to keep us petrified when we think about making change or attempting a new challenge, which does not serve your humanity or those you touch.
As promised, the second key. The second key to find focus in the midst of change is to surround yourself with people that see you for your humanity. It’s one thing to have people who love you and support you – it’s a totally different thing to have people who know your true purpose and recognize your passion, even when you don’t. These small groups of people really “get you”. They understand what you are trying to accomplish, your purpose in life, and they expect nothing less from you than to achieve it. This support system calls you forward to push towards your goals, even when the winds of change may throw obstacles and hardships in your way. You will on many days doubt yourself, but they never do. They listen to your frustrations and failures, but also provide you perspective so you can learn and fail forward. They refuse to let you talk yourself out of the future you can indeed achieve. And they refuse to allow you to needlessly obsess about why you can’t do “it”. They refuse to let you be a victim of circumstance and call you to rise up and be significant. Just as important, but often lacking, these people celebrate your victories with you, no matter how small or large. They make you stop and actually celebrate, as they know it is necessary for reflection and rejuvenation. They teach you celebration has no place for analyzing your failures or “shoulda’s” (i.e “I should have done this and I should have done that.” We all love to win and it’s all the more inspiring to have someone to share your wins with who can be excited for you, when there is nothing in it for them. They get the path you are on and how each accomplishment, big or small, is moving you forward and making a contribution in the world. In fact, having people encourage and push you to go that extra mile, will take you to the finish line. And the sneaky thing about this core group of people is that they are a built in accountability system. They will be the first to push back when you want to give up, the first to make you stop and reassess when you are off course and make certain you always keep your integrity and your word.
So if you can embrace these three Change Agent Rules, the rest has a funny way of sorting itself out.
1. Quality vs. Quantity. You don’t need a lot of people to serve in the role as your change agents. In fact, you probably won’t find that many people who are on the same path of change (transition and growth) as you. It traditionally is difficult to “find” the secret road to passion, purpose and living your truth. But it does exist. Once you accept and embrace your quest for humanity, you will arrive at the community. There are people up to bigger things themselves and they will be able to recognize it in you. Trust us, you don’t need to look for this support system – just soak it up when you arrive. And you no longer need to live your life by committee and have everyone person in your life on board. You know the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
2. The source. When you come across people who see you as your purposeful life, don’t question the source. It ALWAYS comes from the most unexpected people in the most unexpected times. And typically from people you don’t know every well, yet. For example, when we started sharing our book manuscript with “safe” people (people we didn’t know us so if they hated it, it wouldn’t matter as much) the feedback we received was humbling. The first gal Molly met at a party happened to be a coach commented after one read, “The empowerment, compassion, wisdom and transformation you both stand for in a very hip edgy way is awe-inspiring.” She didn’t say you guys sound like efficient hard workers (though we would say that is true as well :), she immediately honed in on the things that are most important to us and absolutely what we were thriving for – that serve a Primary Aim – providing guidance, equality (i.e. having integrity) and living a life with a sense of fun and gratification.
3. Your tribes. Once you start the change you seek in the work you might start to experience negative or conflicting advice from people who “knew you when”. Our tribes. You begin to realize that some of the major people in your life don’t seem to like the changes in you – even if the old you was a total train wreck! They have become accustomed to have a listening of you in a certain way, and when you no longer show up like that, they are confused and sometimes offended. If you share your passion, purpose and humanity with them, then your work is done. You are not responsible for how they receive it and how they interact with it or you. We encourage you to continually take a stand for you and it will all sort itself out. You just might be the pioneer they were seeking.
So, as change inevitably impacts us all – find your passion…that which speaks to your humanity. Then allow the people who recognize this in you to support you, share your struggles and more importantly, your victories. You will find yourself more focused and clear, even in times of turmoil. As a great mentor of ours taught us…. “Be the change you seek in your world.” – Gandhi.