“Where in your life and work are you experiencing something that is dying”

“Where do you see something beginning or wanting to be born?”

Otto Scharmer posed these questions in his book Leading from the Emerging Future, they are similar to the questions that William Bridges asks in his book Transitions.

The answers to these questions can lead us to “freeze and revert to our deeply ingrained habits of the past, or we can lean into the space of the unknown, lean into that which wants to emerge.” [Scharmer].

By consciously asking yourself the questions though, and listening to the voices you hear, you’ll be much more likely to recognise the changes that need to be made for you to be happy and healthy and for the world to benefit from your contributions.

It’s all too easy to deny the change. We keep ourselves so busy that we don’t give ourselves the space to think about what we want and how we would like to be in the world. And it’s not just that…it turns out that our brain is “reserving itself for the novel situations. The brain holds onto the known preferentially over the unknown”. [Leadership Embodiment, Palmer and Crawford]. They continue, there is a “0.2-second delay preceding the acting out of the initial impulse. This minuscule window is all you have to use your volitional neural capacity to decide to do something different.”

That’s why it’s so hard to change habits, even small ones.

So let’s return to the questions I posed at the start of this piece.

“Where in your life and work are you experiencing something that is dying? Where do you see something beginning or wanting to be born?”

Give yourself some time to ponder.

Executive Coach and Coach Supervisor Clare Norman is based in Southampton and also works in London and Bournemouth. Clare works with clients who want to make high impact transitions from one company to another, from one role to another, and when stepping up to more senior leadership levels.