The news regarding my future was like a hand-grenade tossed in a swimming pool. In a matter of 2 minutes, significant disruption entered the Story. My position, as Station Manager, would be eliminated from the 2008 budget.
Attempting to absorb the shock of that Friday afternoon meeting, I asked Dan, “Are you telling me I’m not coming back Monday?”
“You need to pack your office.”
We had known each other and worked together for ten years.
“Randy will give you a ride home.”
Rita picked me up as I left the radio station.
Shock and awe.
What’s your Story?
THE CALL TO ADVENTURE
Disruption adds adventure to the Story. Like any significant adventure, life provides both simple and complex growth opportunities. It could be as simple as a dead battery on a cold winter morning to a diagnosis you don’t want to hear.
Disruptions happen on your way to a place of promise, significance, contribution, to getting better. While on the path from “Here” to “There” something happens. Something can feel like opposition, resistance, a threat to your plan.
Disruption comes as a call to change and is part of every Next Level Journey.
Everybody has a Story.
WHAT YOU BELIEVE MATTERS
To embrace disruption as an adventure requires personal work, a teachable spirit, and time invested in the pursuit of truth.
You get to choose your response. Either you see disruption as something that happens “TO you” or “FOR you.” Your answer reveals a belief and sets you on a path towards Stuckville or a breakthrough and next-level success.
If you select the “TO ME” belief, you will use defense tactics like blame, being a victim, denial, rationalization, minimization, or avoidance. This path is circular; it’s staying in your Comfort Zone.
The “TO ME” belief produces a fight/flight/freeze response ignited by anxiety or fear regarding the future. The questions are anchored in “Why…?” instead of “What now…?” How will this disruption affect my life, my work, my team, my business? This natural, first response elevates your attempt to control the situation. You’re stuck.
However, if you choose the “FOR ME” belief, curiosity will support your pursuit truth in the Story. Your growth mindset and commitment to getting better allows you to embrace and write the Story you want to tell. This path leads to freedom. The opportunity for next-level performance opens up before you like a new day.
The FOR ME belief quiets fear and allows faith to guide you today, moving toward the future. Moving into your growth zone, you are free to ask, “How does this disruption call me to get better?” “What’s next?” Instead of grasping for control, you are calm. Calm allows engagement instead of fueling the fight/flight/freeze reaction. To show up calm suggests you are stable, steady in purpose, firm in resolution, and not subject to insecurity.
You get to choose what you believe about disruption.
What you believe is a big deal. How do you transition from “TO ME” to get started up the “FOR ME” belief and path? How do you avoid getting stuck in the vicious, fear-based cycle of “TO ME” thinking?
- Notice your emotions. Being self-aware positions you to check-in emotionally and exercise self-control. You are responsible for governing your feelings, and with practice, choose calm over trying to control, especially when fear, panic, or anxiety are the natural responses.
- Give it time. The more significant the disruption, the longer the Journey will be. Leaders Create Space to think about the Story, to create clarity to move, and create the opportunity to get better.
- PACE Yourself. Disruption encourages knee-jerk reactions. You get perspective when you interrupt doing to think. It takes time to pursue truth in the Story, especially when emotion is activated by and fear.
How do you Create Space?
The answer is in the word “space.” To open the gift of disruption, use these four steps:
- Pause and breathe
- Ask questions — Be curious, use open-ended questions
- Challenge beliefs — What are you accepting as true?
- Edit the Story — What Story do you want to write?
Fear pushes for a reaction; faith allows for your response.
To speed up, slow down during a disruption.
CREATE SPACE TO THINK
It’s been 12 years since DISRUPTION 2007 pushed me to leave the radio business and start building Next Level Executive Coaching. I thank God for HIs help transforming that necessary ending into an opportunity “FOR ME,” not something that happened to “TO ME.”
If DISRUPTION 2007 weren’t in my story, then the Story wouldn’t be the same for either of us.
For your refection:
Where are you experiencing disruption?
What do you believe; is it happening TO you or FOR you?
How are you showing up, controlling, or calm?
How can I help you write the Story you want to tell?
Thankful for you,
Transform disruption into clarity for life and work!