202: Andrea Simon—Now Is No Time To Be Afraid Of This Blurry Future

Learn how to reinvent your reality and embrace change

As we work with our clients during this pandemic, we’re noticing a recurring theme. They’ve figured out how to deal with living at home, working at home and being at home. But now they’re beginning to be anxious about what’s coming next. It’s strange, isn’t it, that without a clear vision of the future, it’s very hard to live today. In this podcast, I talk about these feelings that so many of us are having, and how this crisis is an excellent time for you to innovate, reinvent your reality, and start doing the things you’ve been trying to do for a long time. Please listen, learn and share.

Andi-squareWhat is “what’s next” going to look like?

What I’m calling the “blurry future” is unsettling to us. These are ambiguous times, and humans hate ambiguity. We hate to be between a black box and a white box in that grey space where we are uncertain what is good or bad, right or wrong. Today’s ambiguity and constant changes are creating all kinds of stress. The pain of change is, quite simply, painful. I’‘ve recently published a blog talking about this, which you can listen to here.

Martin Seligman’s excellent book,Homo prospectus,” describes how we need to see the future clearly if we’re going to leave today…even if the future is an imagined one, because that’s the way our brains work. The challenge for us during the COVID-19 crisis is how to do our work today when we’re uncertain about what’s going to be the new normal, and if the old normal is ever coming back. That’s why it may be time to make up that imagined future Seligman talks about.

We need a new visualization of the future

As humans, we live in a perceptual reality. Our brain takes information and creates a story about it, and that becomes our reality. That story is one that you create. It’s your own movie, and the roles you are going to play in that movie are going to change as the story unfolds in unforeseen ways. Since your brain is looking for that movie, why not make up a new one in which you can be a hero. Your staff and customers will have important roles to play too in the future you are creating. (If you want to read more about how to visualize the future, check out Martin Seligman’s New York Times op-ed, We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment.” )

It’s time to reinvent your reality so you can embrace your future

As culture change experts, we always tell our clients that if they want to change, they should have a crisis or create one. Well, that crisis is here. So don’t waste it. It is a great time to reinvent your reality and make it work for you, not you for it. In other words, make change your friend. 

For more on how to adapt to today’s massive changes, start with these

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