Have you ever noticed that life doesn’t follow a nice straight trajectory? You can plan, predict and think positively, but sometimes life has other plans. This article is Part 3 of a 4-part series called, Making Sense of Change: Mastering the Art of Life Navigation. When you can navigate all the seasons of change, then you have found true security!
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In Phase 3 of the Change Cycle, the big thinking and big visions from Phase 2 get translated from the “ideal world” of your heart and imagination into the “real world” of facts and form.
The decorating of images onto a prize-worthy vision board is replaced by very real actions in a very real world. This is when you talk with a loan officer about a mortgage, learn how to write a query letter to a publisher, or fill out the application for medical school.
Phase 3 is also the ‘Hero’s Saga’ because it requires courage, brave deeds, and the noble quality of following your heart with big doses of persistence.
This is the stage when you set out to achieve the goal! But nothing in your Phase 2 dreaming can prepare you for everything that will happen when you launch, sweat it out and make it happen.
First steps are daunting: you need to face the blank sheet of paper for your screenplay, run the first miles of your spanking new marathon training program or gape at the 1,000 moving pieces that are required to launch your small business. To succeed you will need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Awkwardness, newness, and feeling like a “stranger in a strange land” are your traveling companions for your ascent.
BUT if your goal is heartfelt then Phase 3 will be a wonderful journey of thrills and spills! Expect to feel a dazzling mixture of:
• the insecurity of a newbie
This is a challenging phase of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. It helps to keep in mind: when you set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it is accomplished one–step-at-a-time.
While climbing through Phase 3 DO:Break BIG Tasks into small doable steps (a task is the right size when your body relaxes).
- Reward yourself for accomplishments along the way.
- Get cozy with messing things up.
- Fail, learn from it, fail again, learn some more and repeat.
- Loosen your grip on your expectations.
- Remain flexible, calm and open to feedback.
- Allow for more time than you think you need.
- If you hit a road block try doing anything different –it will enlarge your perspective.
- Remember that wonderful, beautiful dreams are realized with step-by-step stubbornness.
And the pay off of the phase 3 work? Success. Sweet, savory success after a whole bunch of slogging. BUT the hero’s journey does not end with one single triumph. Usually it points to greater tasks and new challenges around the next bend…
But if you did your Phase 1 and Phase 2 work fully, as you climb step by step through phase 3, you will notice your path opening up. Until one day you, you see that you are exactly where you belong: engaged in work you are supposed to be doing, with harmonious friends who truly understand, and with all sorts of opportunities coming your way.
You will begin to feel ease, contentment, trust, and JOY on a regular basis.
**Your mantra for this phase of change is: “This is harder than I thought…and that’s okay!”
Next up in this article series: Phase 4 of Change: The Promised Land
To read Phase 1 of Change: When Nothing Makes Sense
To read Phase 2 of Change: Dreaming of the Next YOU
Heather wishes to thank her mentor, Martha Beck (author of “Finding Your Own North Star”) for introducing her to the Change Cycle concept.