Navigating Change Powerfully - A Tool for you
This is a powerful tool to help you map out how you are responding to a change situation that is currently affecting you and to identify a more powerful way to navigate through it.
The first goal of the tool is to assist you in identifying how you are responding to this change situation right now. Are you in resistance or are you in resilience?
The second goal is to assist you in navigating your path forward.
Print out two copies of this worksheet. It looks like this:
- Pick a change situation you would like to work with. Pick a change you are currently experiencing and that you have some discomfort or struggle around.
- Orient yourself to the grid on your worksheet. Notice it has four boxes. You will be filling in these boxes so spend a few minutes taking in the definitions for each box. Here they are:
- Ceaseless Striving. Taking action on things you cannot control. Spending time reacting. Never feeling satisfied.
- Giving Up. Not taking action on things you can control. Feeling like a victim. Not doing what you could do.
- Letting Go or Acceptance. Not taking action on things you cannot control. Not feeling guilty or resentful.
- Taking action on things you can control.
Part I: Current state.
First, map your current relationship to the change you are experiencing on one copy of the worksheet. This is where you take a good look at how you are responding to this change event right now. To do this:
- Place items you can control and are acting on into the Mastery box.
- Place items you cannot control but are acting on into the Ceaseless Striving box.
- Place items you can control but are not acting on into the Giving Up box.
- Place items you cannot control and are not acting on into the Acceptance box.
- Ignore the “Can Influence” Field for this part of the exercise.
- Now take a look at your filled-in worksheet. This is your current relationship to this change. It may also reflect your habitual response to change in general. Study the items in each of the boxes. Spend some time digesting those that landed in the Ceaseless Striving box and the Giving Up box and you will have greater self-awareness about how you are responding to this change scenario today. You also may have insights into where you may be applying your energies unwisely.
Part II: Desired state.
Now it’s time to map out your desired state of your relationship to this change. Grab the second copy of the worksheet.
- Using the mapping you created of your current state (your first worksheet), challenge yourself to move items out of the Ceaseless Striving box. You would accomplish such a move by recognizing that this item is something you cannot control and determining to accept that and let go of ceaselessly striving for it to change. And so, that item might move into the Acceptance box.
- Now, challenge yourself to move items out of the Giving Up box. You would accomplish such a move by recognizing that there is an action you could take (or influence) with respect to this item, but that you are not taking that action. And so, that item might move into the Mastery box.
- Have you been able to move anything out of these two boxes? If you were, what did you learn or notice about your relationship to this change or how you’ve been thinking (or not thinking) about it?
- For items that remain in the Ceaseless Striving or Giving Up boxes, study them. For each such item, ask yourself what is difficult about moving it. Then ask yourself is that true? Do you see any patterns here (there may or may not be any)?
- Now, challenge yourself. For any item that is still in the Ceaseless Striving or Giving Up box, do your best to come up with one idea for how you could get that item out of that box and into the Letting Go or Mastery box. Just one idea!
- If you get stuck, put this worksheet aside for a day and come back to it tomorrow. If by then you are still stuck, can you identify one way you “Can Influence” that item? Put the item in the “Can Influence” field then. When an item goes into the “Can Influence” box, that might mean someone else is positioned to take an action, and perhaps there is some way you can influence that person to do so. It might also mean there are things you could do that seem unrelated but that would actually change the impact of that item.
- Now take a look. Do you feel better? I hope so, but if not, it might be helpful to talk this through with someone who can bring fresh eyes to it. Seek out a trusted friend, mentor, or coach and Good Luck!
*The concept of the grid is not original to The Essential Group. I have come across it in a few different locations over the years with varying attribution so I will simply say “anonymous author” until the definitive author surfaces.