Building the Ability to Grow through Change in Your Life!

  • Posted on: 4 September 2020
  • By: Leonard Shostak

I have experienced a lot of change this year, some good, some bad, and most unwanted. Yet, by using the same tools that I work with my clients to develop, I found it much easier to recognize, process, and grow from the changes and transitions.

The biggest change, and the hardest for me to deal with, is the new social distancing. That’s because, while going to events and parties, I get my energy from the people around me and physical touch. That is now not a safe thing to do for the foreseeable future.

In the midst of the pandemic, we drove our youngest son to college, a major home life change. My work life has changed, too: clients I’ve been working with for years (or even decades) are either on hold or no longer in business; my new clients are looking to change themselves—not the world around them.

I was prepared and excited for my son to move on to his next stage of life, so it was an easy, welcome, and positive change. But I was not expecting the pandemic and all the changes and disruptions that it continues to cause. One thing that has helped me through all this change was realizing that there is no “should” in the way things are.

In addition to not having the “American” belief that things should be a certain way, I was also able to capitalize on my well-practiced ability to take life day by day and to continue to improve myself with online classes and workshops. This strategy continues to work for me, and it enables me to help clients develop the skills and ability to do what’s best for their own happiness and not what others want or expect them to do. For many of my clients, the recent changes have been dramatic, due to circumstances beyond our control. Over the past six months, some clients were unable to maintain their carrying costs, forced to shut down, or their own clients stopped engaging them due to the pandemic. Being able to help them understand the concept of “should”—and how they can shed those constraints—has helped reduce transition-related stress and allowed them to see the brighter side of early retirement.

For example, I had clients who were hoping to sell their business and retire, but instead, yet they ended up having to leverage their client base to get a job at another, similar business. In their 60s, they suddenly have to answer to someone else! The mental change they have to process and continue to process is huge. While I worked with them to transition their business, I incorporated life coaching strategies to help them cope and move through the change that they were going through.

This brings me to why I have transitioned from a technology and business consultant to a life/business coach. (Learn more about my services here.)

When I coach clients, we don't just work on solving a business or money problem; we work towards gaining a better understanding of why they have made or continue to make decisions and choices, and accept limitations—and the corresponding effects on different aspects of their lives. Based on where they want to be—not just where they are coming from—I guide them through the process of making decisions that will move them to a great new worldview. I help them understand and work through the range of changes they encounter (including those that are forced upon us). As a result, anew are able to thrive and grow as we go through change, instead of being diminished by it.

Having the skills to improve ourselves when change is forced upon us is crucial. As I go through expected and unexpected changes, this knowledge has enabled me to have greater insight; and, when working with my own coach and participating in coach-improvement groups, to enhance my own happiness. After all, I couldn’t help my clients be happier if I wasn’t working on improving my own life satisfaction.