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Chapter 9 – Embracing Change For A Bright Visionary Future

Written by: Sara Hegy, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Sara Hegy

Dear overworked ambitious leader who is hungry for development, in this enthralling journey through the corridors of your own mind, we continue our exploration of the astounding science behind decision-making. Our aim? To empower you, the driven and ambitious leader, with the knowledge that unveils the immense potential residing within your brain.

Transformation of a butterfly.

What makes this series unique is how we examine leadership. As we've been uncovering in this series, leadership isn't just about job titles and managerial roles. It's about how you navigate your life daily, how you mold each thought, action, and emotion into a strategic masterpiece that shapes your world.

You see, leadership isn't as we have been taught, confined to the boardroom or the forefront of a team; it's the continuous process that unfolds in every decision you take, from the moment you rise to greet the day until you lay down to rest, including all the moments that you interact with others around you and with your environment.

Previously, In part 1, we talked about the simplest process of the brain: sensing information > processing > output. In part 2, we examined our brain’s elements that help us sense information, and then in parts 3 and 4 we discovered the main players in the decision-making. We gave 2 practical situations in an individual and collective context regarding how the brain incorporates beliefs in the decision-making process, we shed light on the trio of mental frames in our brain and we learned about the brain’s strategy of prioritization. In part 5, we opened our minds to engage with a new hypothesis that bad decisions only come from bad perceptions, not an error in our mental processing. We also delved into the world of drama and how critical it is for us to foster powerful dramas to live in. In part 6, we revealed the critical role of listening and speaking to shape our decisions, actions, and the effectiveness of our leadership. In part 7, we discovered the decision-making process and the role of intention to direct our decisions in flow one decision at a time, and in part 8, we have identified possible causes of thoughts or actions that hold our brain back. Now, it's time to apply this knowledge to master one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of leadership: navigating through change.

The inevitability of change

In every aspect of how human beings know life, change is inevitable. It's the wind that brings in new opportunities, challenges, and perspectives. As leaders, our response to change not only defines our adaptability but also sets the tone for those we lead. Embracing change isn't about merely reacting to it, judging it, or freezing in front of its waves; it's about foreseeing, accepting, being agile in the face of it, and brainstorming the best catalyst actions that bring forth the best transformative actions and outcomes.

The life cycle of a butterfly.

Figure 1 represents the life cycle of a butterfly, it starts growing in larval stages, then it transforms into a pupa, then it grows in pupal stages, and it transforms into a mature butterfly.

The mental blocks to change

Mental blocks in the face of change are psychological hurdles that impede our adaptability to new situations. They include:

  1. Fear of the Unknown: One of the most significant mental blocks is the fear of what lies ahead. This fear can paralyze decision-making and prevent individuals from stepping out of their comfort zones.

  2. Comfort with Status Quo: Preference for familiar routines and resistance to altering them makes any deviation from the known seen as risky or unnecessary.

  3. Resistance to Learning: Avoidance of acquiring new skills or knowledge required by change creates a fixed mindset that blocks the need for exploring further directions of knowledge or actions.

  1. Overwhelm by Complexity: When change seems complex or difficult to understand, it can lead to feelings of overwhelm. This can create a mental block where the individual feels it's easier to avoid dealing with the change altogether.

  2. Attachment to Past Successes: Reluctance to abandon old methods that previously worked well hinders the adaptability to change.

  3. Denial: Refusal to acknowledge that change is occurring or necessary prevents any form of proactive adaptation.

  4. Fear of Failure: Anxiety about not successfully adapting to change will prevent us from even attempting to adjust to the change.

  5. Lack of Perceived Control: Feeling powerless in influencing or stopping change mentally blocks any effort to behave powerfully and discover the opportunity when dealing with change.

  6. Negative Past Experiences: Previous bad experiences with change will lead to projecting past failures or challenges onto the current situation.

  7. Cognitive Rigidity: Inflexibility in thinking patterns, making it hard to consider new approaches that are required to navigate change.

  8. Social Influence: If the prevailing culture or societal norms are resistant to change, individuals may also resist, even if the change is beneficial.

  9. Underestimating Change's Impact: Failing to recognize the significance of change and the need to adapt causes us to not take necessary actions or make adjustments.

Overcoming these mental blocks involves developing self-awareness, embracing a growth mindset, and mental training on effective communication and decision-making processes that enable the mental flexibility and resilience necessary for gradual adaptation to change, while focusing on the potential benefits and opportunities that change can offer.

Shifting mindsets: From resistance to acceptance

Often, our first instinct to change is resistance – a natural human tendency to cling to the familiar. However, the true essence of leadership lies in shifting this mindset from resistance to acceptance and then to active engagement. This shift is not just a decision but a journey in itself, requiring self-awareness, courage to embrace one’s self, the people around, and the surrounding environment, and an open mind to innovate.

Harnessing brain power in times of change

Your brain, an extraordinary organ, is your ally in this journey. Remember the science of neuroplasticity we discussed in earlier chapters? The brain can adapt and rewire itself. By consciously letting go of our fearful thoughts and rooting our daily thoughts toward positive, adaptive strategies, we can train our brains to embrace change more readily.

Best thought practices to embrace change

  • Visionary Thinking: Cultivate the ability to foresee potential outcomes of change. Visionary leaders don't just react to changes; they anticipate and shape them.

  • Emotional Intelligence: Managing your emotions and understanding others' emotions is crucial during times of change. Empathy and emotional regulation ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.

  • Acknowledge the Fear: Recognize and accept that fear of loss is a natural reaction to change. By acknowledging it and training your mind to be OK with it, you take the first step in overcoming it.

  • Focus on the Opportunities: Shift your focus from what you might lose to what you could gain. Change often brings new possibilities and avenues for innovation

  • Cultivate Flexibility in Thought: Encourage a mindset that is open and flexible. Consider multiple scenarios and be prepared to adapt your strategies as needed.

  • Engage in Proactive Learning: Stay informed about emerging trends of knowledge and awareness that are emerging around you. This knowledge can help mitigate the fear of the unknown and prepare you for change.

  • Develop Active Decision-Making: A mindset that is focused on problem-solving and innovating not procrastination, problem fearing, problem avoiding, problem generalization, all or nothing approach (thinking extremes with no middle ground), and catastrophization (imagining the worst possible outcome in any situation) is a mindset that mines for opportunities and breakthroughs amidst any challenge.

  • Foster a Supportive Environment: Create a culture where you and the people around you feel safe to express concerns and suggest innovative solutions. Collaboration can ease the transition through change.

  • Practice Mindfulness and Resilience: Develop personal resilience through silence, calmness, meditative, and journaling practices. This can help maintain a clear, focused mind, better equipped to handle change.

The life cycle of a human.

Figure 2 represents the life cycle of a human who has lived life through its full potential. First, babies start growing into kids, boys and girls, teens, and young adults and throughout these experiences, they experience physiological growth but also mental growth and transformation, they start their adult cycles and they again undergo mental reshaping by life’s events and if they manage to successful embrace change, they transform into bright visionary leaders. But because most of us come from an unhealthy environment as kids without proper education on self-development and leadership, we tend to get stuck on our own pathways. Luckily, powerful coaching and non-formal education exist to help us get unstuck and transform into unstoppable.

The bright visionary future

As we conclude this chapter, remember, that the future belongs to those who not only adapt to change but also embrace and drive it. Your journey through the corridors of your mind doesn't end here; it's a lifelong expedition. Each day presents new opportunities to apply your knowledge, refine your skills, and grow as a leader.

In the next and final chapter, we'll bring all these elements together, providing you with a comprehensive toolkit to unlock the full potential of your leadership prowess. Get ready to embark on the ultimate phase of this journey, where we integrate all that we've learned into a cohesive, powerful approach to leadership and personal growth and a case study.

Until then, remember: Embracing change is not just a leadership skill, it’s a life skill. It’s about steering your ship with confidence and wisdom through the ever-changing seas of life.

If by now you fully grasp the aspects of growth and enlightenment that developing your leadership makes available, I invite you to book your coaching call with us today here and if you're interested in joining our growing Facebook community for leadership development, join here.

Until next time, embrace your journey with kindness, curiosity and courage to innovate in the face of change.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Sara Hegy Brainz Magazine

Sara Hegy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sara Hegy is an award-winning scientist and a leadership coach who is dedicated to helping other leaders achieve their full potential while being fulfilled. She grew up in an environment where producing results is a measure of self-worth. Hence, she always struggled to apply self-development teachings until coaching helped her gain clarity on her struggles and gave her tools to overcome them. Through harnessing the power of her mind and taking effective action, she graduated with honors, won a scientific prize, and her findings raised a$2.7 million research grant. She's the founder of her coaching business that globally serves. Her mission: Passionate leaders who create massively and live a life that they love.


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