“Remembering the past gives power to the present.”  – Fae Myenne Ng

Clients seek me out when they’re navigating chaos. They’re either trying to take their business to the next level or they’ve been pushed into change by forces outside their control.  No matter what the source, navigating chaos involves stepping into the unknown.  And all change is scary because it requires you to grow.

The growth phases of navigating chaos feel like you’re climbing a mountain. The middle of the climb feels the riskiest because:

  1. You can’t see the top, so you don’t know how far have to go.
  2. You feel exhausted and overwhelmed by all the things that are different.
  3. You’re afraid you’ll lose ground and go tumbling to the bottom.

This is the part when it’s most tempting to quit.  It’s hard to find the grit and determination to keep going. But you have to stand amid the chaos if you want to successfully navigate it and move forward.

You try to ignore the fear, but it shows up in other ways, like:

  • Being overly harsh on yourself for not “figuring it out” yet.
  • Blaming others for things not working out. This might be demanding your team work harder or overly critiquing each move they make.
  • Withdrawing into yourself and not sharing with others how lost you feel.
  • Giving up when you’re closer than you realize to reaching your goals.

This is when remembering the past is helpful.

While the specifics of your situation will be different, see if you can find a time in your past when you felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and a bit lost as to what to do next.  What happened?

Your past is the key to finding your way forward. You learn to navigate chaos based on your unique perspective of the world.  Previous experiences teach you how you react in chaos. Use those times to discern what truly helped.  And identify where you want to do things differently this time around.

There are lessons to be learned each time you embrace the learning curve of change. It isn’t about reaching the end goal. It’s about understanding how to navigate the chaos better each time.

This exercise is not about beating yourself up over what you didn’t do. It permits you to be an objective observer.  To really see what worked for you.  Keep that part and leave the rest behind.

Confidence doesn’t mean you’re certain about the outcome. The fear, exhaustion, and uncertainty will always be there. Confidence is growing your skillset so you can handle change more easily.

Every time you face a challenge or setback, you grow.  This allows you to take on greater challenges and reach new levels in the future. Levels you can’t even see from where you’re standing today.

What lessons from your past can help you navigate your chaos?

What skills do you already have within you that will allow you to keep climbing?