I have come to realise through my personal life and through my 20 years’ experience as change manager, change leader and organisational culture change agent in corporates, that our inner fears and insecurities – that my own self-doubt and lack of self-confidence – equates to a lack of self-power and trust in myself. This is what ultimately holds us in one place.
Caroline Myss, New York Times best-selling author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Sacred Contracts writes in a later book: Defy Gravity Healing beyond the bounds of reason, that change ultimately is a process that once begun, is not the responsibility of one person and that all change has multiple sources and points of origins. She also says that ultimately we can choose ‘how wisely’ we want to perceive the change or the crisis. Through the eyes of wisdom or through woe. Change is a constant theme in our lives and it goes hand in hand with truth, as changing situations challenges our sense of reality and our sense of self. We are essentially scared of making the ‘wrong decision.’
It causes us to be scared to move on or fearful to make changes in our lives that are clearly required. Why? Because it feels safer to stay in one place (being right?) and it requires of us to be brave and courageous to move into spaces and places that are unknown. It’s like being scared of the dark as a child – it paralysed me. Every night I called my dad to switch on his light for me so that I could walk to the bathroom with some light. I was too paralysed to even switch on my own little light. This fear that we hold for the unknown influences everything.
It is this fear and paralyses that has caused me to do my life’s work: Working with change and helping others to move through change. I learned that the more self-confidence I developed, the braver I become to make small changes in my life, stepping into the unknown with small steps at a time. This in turn has a powerful impact on my personal sense of happiness, connectedness and purpose, and my sense of confidence and okay’ness with life around me, and with mySELF.
I discovered that my personal internal journey toward wholeness and connection was reflected in the same change journey that other people go through and have been going through for ages. Carl Jung called this the process of individuation. It is a part of life and there is a pattern to it. My journey is not unique. But it is this pattern that has allowed me to create an approach to change and helped me develop my change mind-set. In short, I wanted to create order out of the chaos (fear) for myself so that I could feel I had a sense of ‘control’ over what is happening with me. Change is constant. And we are moving in it and through it, constantly.
How do we identify the changes that are important and central in our lives? How do we engage with the change that is needed? And especially, how do I stay connected to myself through the turbulent time of change and sometimes chaos so that I can remain central in my own life – so that I do not disappear and hide from life in the process.
I do this work because I believe in order to become strong and brave and power-FULL we need to be able to be our own strongest supporters through change. I needed to learn to switch on my own light. This process delivers an outcome that one is called: Empowerment.
When I reflect back something is becoming quite clear to me: my ‘work’ is for me to develop my personal power and self-esteem in order to build resilience and courage through life. However, I am not ultimately in control and will never ultimately be in ‘control’ of the outcomes as the influences of ‘Life’ itself is not for ME to control.
Article by Elana Sonnenberg, Founder of YellowTreeHub.