by Alice Alessandri and Alberto Aleo The end of 2016 is approaching and our attention is split between a glance backwards, to assess the past season, and plans for the year ahead, with 12 months brand new months awaiting. But what if rather than living su spended between past and future, we tried to live the…
Change is part of the world’s very essence and nothing repeats in exactly the same way. Indeed, the only thing that never changes is change itself.
For a long time, I thought that changing jobs was only an option for people with clear goals and clear ideas; in fact, every time I asked myself ‘what do I want to do when I grow up?’ no answer sprung to mind, even though I had been “grown up” for quite a while!
What I later discovered is that you can choose to change because the situation you are in is no longer right for you, or just because you really feel strongly the need to do different things, to escape a rut.
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Indeed, you can decide to change even if you do not know where you are heading. As I now know, change is a process whose times and modes are unknown at the outset.
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Clearly realizing that what we do no longer fully satisfies us is the beginning of the journey.
Photo Cristina Conti by AdobeStock
Changing is a process that starts with us
‘I’ve been working for this company all my life …’ When asked, this is how I began my description of the 16 years I spent as an employee in the food industry. The expression “all my life” more or less consciously summed up my perception of a very long time filled with experiences which I now felt limiting.
When I started working in the firm, having finished university and started a family, I was looking for a way to discover new things, come into contact with new people, and ultimately to gain economic independence. Over time I took on various roles and responsibilities because the company itself had evolved and I saw this as a positive factor because I have always considered change as an opportunity.
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However, I felt a sense of dissatisfaction as I was unable to fulfill the goals that represented part of what I was and in which I believed: people as central to the company, valorization of talent, clients as the core of the business.
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Too busy following the development of the organization, which was transforming from a family-owned firm to a multinational company, I was losing sight of the impelling desire for change that I had long harboured within but only vaguely perceived, as though it were hidden behind a curtain and I could never find the time (or so I told myself) to observe it more closely.
Changing is accepting what we are
A few years ago, in search of an outlet for my need for authenticity, I began to follow courses on communication and mindfulness, finding time where I thought I had none and venturing into unchartered waters.
Working on myself in my free time helped me to discover aspects that I did not know I possessed and that I could use in the workplace as well. That’s how my approach to business changed.
Rather than continuing to emphasize how little I belonged to that world, and constantly focusing on problems and difficulties, I began to feel that my presence there surely had a profound, but hidden, meaning!
Actually, it was not all negative. In fact, looking back, I realize how many skills I had acquired and how much innovation I had introduced to the environment, encouraging the transformation of the organization for which I worked.
Changing is taking responsibility of our own fulfillment
I am still surprised by the strength and clarity with which we perceive what is New as soon as our mental constraints disappear; the “ifs” and “buts” still emerge but can be ignored thanks to the awareness that helps to transform our mind from taskmaster to friend, making it a powerful tool for processing and organizing insights and ideas.
This attitude of openness and self-confidence is fundamental if we are to align all the aspects conditioning the organization of our being with the new identity: values, beliefs, abilities and behaviours slowly become coherent with what we are, and unexpectedly where there were doubts and fears, opportunities and solutions begin to unfold.
I now have the opportunity to convey to others my experience and the tools acquired, in the classroom and in individual meetings, talking about effective communication, awareness of relationships with the client, while also welcoming the new experience and enrichment generated naturally by continuous exchange.
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I no longer ask myself “what I want to do when I grow up” because now I know that whatever our actual age, we grow up when we can appreciate change as an opportunity and that if we try to escape it, for fear of losing something or of venturing into the unknown, we become less inclined to take on the responsibility of self-fulfillment.
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It does not matter how long it takes to understand this, nor how long the path is to the turning-point. The time required is not dictated by our mind, but by our “heart”: an inner dimension that does not demand thinking, planning and organization. When the time comes, the right time for you, to make the second step you will simply stand up and move towards the new, with Trust and Gratitude for what you are.
| partem claram semper aspice |