In spring, we plant seeds that somehow push through the dirt in order to see the sun. Over time, their growth is evident even though, in a day, we don’t see much changing.
People, much like seeds, change, grow, and adapt in the same way. It never appears that much is happening in a day. Change never has the darkness of the dirt nor the contrast of the sun to announce itself when it occurrs in our lives. It rarely is that obvious as we change.
Two signs of change that are not obvious, but are telling, are confusion & feeling that things around you are now broken.
I get very excited when listening to others when they say they are confused. Things that they believed strongly in, were now being questioned. New ideas or information has made them stop and think instead of simply reacting. They remind me of the seed trying to push through the dirt in order to see the sun.
Nothing feels right when you are confused. It takes some time, but the confusion clears once the person begins to assimilate the new ideas or information into their belief system. They actually begin to think differently. Slowly they gain confidence that the new “stuff” has kept them safe and has led to better choices moving forward.
The second signal of change is when things around you feel broken. What worked well before, no longer is adequate. People’s natural reaction is to get frustrated with what’s broken. Their time would be better spent trying to figure out what to replace it with so that things go more smoothly. Over time, if you are evolving (especially as an organization) everything breaks.
Change takes us from our unconscious habits or decision rules towards intention. Where you think, much more, before you act. Where during this time, your beliefs and assumptions are shaken. New ideas or knowledge begin to pierce through towards a new understanding as well as somewhat different beliefs.
With doubt always being our primary defense. Both for what is new as well as what is known. Where repetition of explanation, of new ideas, knowledge or assumptions, is like a hammer against a chisel trying to work its way in. Molding us in directions, over time, that we never experienced before. Where slowly they become our new normal.
But much as the seed that struggles to find the sun, change is never easy to embrace. But just like the seed that produces beautiful flowers as a plant, we too can find the beauty in our lives by embracing confusion and the feeling that things are broken as our friends instead of our enemies.