In my journey I can see how much I’ve changed. Over a year ago I wrote out notes about how I was going to take a year to travel in 2019, still support clients, make contact with people with people around the world, learn, take on new clients, modify my business to make it happen, etc. After reading what I wrote last February and my journal entries throughout the year and notes from coaching conversations, I see I’ve followed Tuckman’s model of ‘Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing.’
Perhaps reading this you can relate to how change is working in your life or organization.
I ‘formed’ the idea of traveling, creating the vision of being a world-wide vagabond, meeting up with people with whom I had much in common (fellow coaches, BNI members, tango dancers, etc).
I ‘stormed’ through how I could do this overwhelming life change, how I could continue to support clients, work my new contract with the City of New York, create the money, master the technology, be safe traveling by myself, arrange the travel, delegate to others what I wouldn’t have time for, cut back on things that were comfortable but would no longer serve my new lifestyle, deal with decision fatigue, face the fear of the unknown, experience the dread in my gut of something so new, as well as the dread of not keeping my promise to myself to do this thing which would expand my life and my business.
This was the tough part. I got coached by two other coaches who pulled out my commitment to myself and my growth, and then held me accountable for making progress. I made the whole thing more manageable by cutting the year into several 4-5 week trips. I stopped worrying about money and I just pushed through knowing that the money would show up if I was totally committed (which it has). I stopped worrying that clients would slip away if I wasn’t in NYC. So many people have said they are inspired by what I’m doing. So I reframed my fear of losing clients to be anticipation of new clients who are inspired by what I’m doing and who want change in their lives and businesses. I got encouragement from my family. I wrote each evening in a gratitude journal. Gratitude and fear can not co-exist. When you’re in the spirit of thankfulness, there is no room for fear. That’s how I slept at night, instead of ruminating on all the things that scared me.
‘Norming’ came about when I made plane reservations. Eight in all for the whole trip. Then I was really committed. Then I worked out how the money would work. Now I was feeling comfortable. I can make this work. I only booked my first hostel, thinking I’ll learn along the way. I found a virtual assistant after 4 tries that was capable and understood my needs. I found someone to help me market myself through LinkedIn. Of course, not everything worked well. Some email marketing and social media marketing didn’t fall together very well. Some phone call scheduling with the time difference presented problems. Little by little it’s all coming together.
‘Performing’ is manifested when results are achieved. I’m traveling, my calendar app is working and I’m taking phone calls and zoom calls to maintain my clients and talk to prospects. This will make my life easier when I get back to NYC as well. The LinkedIn marketing has yielded some prospects. I’m posting on this blog and people who are getting my newsletter are responding. All of this holds great promise for the future.
Why am I telling you all this in great detail? Because I know what it’s like to go through scary change, change that you don’t think is possible, change that feels you with fear, challenges that seem overwhelming. You may be going through something similar in your life or as a leader in your organization. Just know that it’s normal to go through the stages of ‘forming, storming, norming’ before you ever get to ‘performing’. But when you get there, you’re at a whole new level of success, pride, self-knowledge and performance.
If you can relate to anything I’ve written here either personally or organizationally, please contact me and let’s compare notes. If I can be of help, I’m happy to lend a hand.