I love transformation. Big shifts. Little upgrades. Taking things and transforming them into something better has turned out to be a big part of my life. And although I didn’t know what to call it then, my passion for transformation started when I was a little girl. I was forever trying to improve things – although I’m not sure my younger sister or the cat always appreciated my efforts. Now days, I spend my days in my corporate role leading large scale transformation projects. And in my coaching work, I help women take ok lives and careers and turn them into a version they can be proud of.
Although the conversations are very different, the transformation strategies are almost identical. I talked about my by biggest learning when it comes to transformation here. But I’ve also learned a few secrets along the way. Here are three of my favourites.
Transformation doesn’t have to be massive. I mean, it can be massive if you want it to be. But transformation could equally look like an upgrade or a refinement. You get to choose between revolution and evolution. Many of the women I coach find this fact extremely empowering. Why? Because it today’s world, transforming your life is often sold as an all or nothing proposition. Not feeling great about your job – then quit. Relationship fallen into a rut – then leave. Lost your creative spark – chuck everything in and move to Tuscany. And while moving to Tuscany isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard, please believe me when I say that transformation can come in baby steps. While improving parts of your life bit by bit may take longer, it’s often more sustainable because your mindset has time to adjust to the new version of you. And never underestimate the ripple effect – uplifting one area of your life tends to trigger an up-levelling in other areas too. There’s a reason people talk about rising tides lifting all boats.
Transformation is never done. This is especially true when it comes to life transformations. It’s a trap to think that you’ll reach that magical land where everything comes easily, the mean girl your head will be gone forever and you’ll feel competent and confident in every situation.
How do I know this? Because I fell for it myself. When I first started to transform my life, I was keen to be done. I wanted the work to be finished. Forever. I never wanted to think about growing again. Or undertaking any more self improvement work.
And yet, every time I stretched myself with a new role or project, I found myself frustrated as I had to deal with fresh stories I was telling myself. The saying ‘new levels, new devils’ definitely applied to me. (You can read more about this story and how I worked through my frustration here.)
Avoid feeling like I did all those years ago by assuming you’ll always want to be uplevelling your life, regardless of how good it gets. Trust me when I say that it really does help to consider transformation as an ongoing ‘work in progress’ rather than something that can be ticked off the list as completed.
Transformation doesn’t automatically equate to easy or pretty. And it certainly doesn’t look like perfection. Life can be messy. And transformation can be too. Now, I don’t want to limit your thinking here. Transformation doesn’t have to be challenging or slow or ugly. But you shouldn’t give up when it looks like any or all of these things. Know that if you run into scratchy bits or roadblocks that you are actually on the right path. Let go of your perfectionistic thinking and make the assumption that you should keep going, no matter how messy things might feel for you.
What part of your life could do with some transformation? Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
And until next time – stay fabulous