“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
~Benjamin Franklin

Someone said this to me just this morning. I was working through a personal challenge – working it through in my mind and also out loud with them on the phone – and they reminded me that there isn’t a finish line when we’re miraculously “done.” We’re always changing and always growing…or if we’re not, we’re either stagnant or, I guess, just finished.

This can change how we look at things. It certainly helped me push less against my challenge – the “why am I here; I don’t like this; I should be past this” kind of pushing – and open my mind and heart to what I could learn and how I could change and grow.

As a recovering perfectionist (which I’ve written about frequently here, and LOL, in my memoir, to the moon and back) and as an Executive Coach to a slew of recovering perfectionists (what is it that seemingly magically draws us together?), remembering that we’re either changing or we’re finished is a welcome perspective that shuts down the “I should have known this already” and, also for me, the “I am a coach. I shouldn’t be stuck on this issue!” litanies in our brains. It opens my mind to looking for the learning. It eases my frustration with myself and the situation, so that I can be more open to new perspectives and new ideas. It makes me more willing and able to change.

Because, as we’ve also written about frequently here, when we push against a problem or a situation or a person who is driving us crazy, we often only make the problem, situation, or relationship with the person worse. But when we can accept it as it is and view it as an opportunity rather than as a difficulty, often things shift to the better. And, as we keep writing, especially now – now when we’re triggered, now when we’re uncertain – if we keep doing what we used to do the way we used to do it, it certainly won’t work well for us.

“That which we resist, persists” Carl Jung contended. And Isaac Newton taught us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Instead of resisting, instead of fighting, how can we look at our leadership (and life) challenges as chances to transform? How can we (okay, how can I) remember that we’re never finished, we’re never done, and we can always accept and reshuffle and rebuild to be even more of our best self?

I don’t want to be finished yet. And I need to remember that there are always opportunities to learn and grow more. For me and for our clients.

How are you changing now? How is that hard and how is that wonderful?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want to keep learning and transforming,, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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