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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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Are Your Pants Too Tight?

El Anatsui, artist“Change is the hallmark of transition.”     – Alexander Levy

Transitions can be prickly as we navigate change. Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable feeling when you’re in the midst of a transition? You don’t feel quite like yourself. It’s like wearing a favorite pair of pants that used to be great and now the fit is off. Are your pants too tight?

Most of us don’t like being uncomfortable. However, trying something new, going in a different direction, or changing in any way will most definitely bring with it those awkward feelings. Let’s get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Let’s accept that it’s part of the change process.

Doubt can also accompany transition and change. This is normal. We are moving into uncharted territory and we aren’t sure about how we’ll manage. If you think back to other times of change, what strengths did you draw upon? What successes did you experience? Access those now. In the interview I did with Judith Kolberg, founder of ICD (formerly NSGCD,) when asked about change strategies for overcoming the fear factor, she said, “My favorite is to draw on their experience. If they are an adult, somewhere in their lifetime they’ve made a big change and survived it.”

Change is a process. You have abundant choices in both your attitude and actions. If your pants are too tight, you get to decide if you’ll keep wearing them or if it’s time for a new pair.

Come join in the conversation and share your ideas. What are your thoughts about change, transition, or those pants that no longer fit?

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Reader Comments (11)

I feel those butterflies when I cannot fathom the outcome of something new since I haven't walked the path before. It basically feels like I am on high alert!

I choose to interpret this kind of fear as a confirmation that I am on the right path. If we never have these feelings it's likely that we are playing it safe or stagnating. Transitioning is uncomfortable, but I love it when you look back and all those scary walls you faced have become stepping stones.

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Sarna-Jones

I think you hit the nail on the head. we need to get comfortable about being uncomfortable. Until that happens we will never be able to pass through to the other side. Judith's tactic of drawing on past experiences is huge. Building on successes, showing examples of positive change, are all great methods to get us all to say I can do this!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Josel

Oh yes, I have been in THAT situation many times over the years! Just take the darned pants off and go to Goodwill and get a bigger pair! I LOVE your sentiment "Let's get comfortable with being uncomfortable" that's perfect!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaneen Violante

Love "hearing" all your wonderful voices!

@Janine- How awesome that you use your fear as the indicator to confirm that you're taking the right path! What a positive outlook.

@Leslie- Passing through to the other side...Yes! It's so easy to get stuck by fear, by discomfort, by insecurity, and more. Any strategies that help us succeed are worth embracing.

@Janeen- Can hear the boldness in your taking the "darned pants off" to go seek out a bigger pair. Fabulous!

February 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hi Linda -

Loved this post - and yes we all get too big for our britches now and then, as I like to say in a southern way....! Yes, change can be very uncomfortable, as I know from past experience and working with clients in changing their environment! Even now, for me, my new website feels a bit uncomfortable to me as I navigate through it all to make it work in the long run! ;-) The important thing I keep in mind is to know that any change is always temporary and before too long, the discomfort will pass.

I always enjoy reading your posts, Linda!

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisa Macomber

With the title: Are Your Pants Too tight, how as a wardrobe stylist, could I not comment?
Change comes in so many places, and most often my new clients are nervous about shopping in different stores, trying on different sizes and styles of clothes that they would never have picked out on their own.
Speaking from experience, ALL my clients end up buying and wearing outfits they would NEVER have picked out on their own. Why? Because they were also afraid of change.
Change might be scary, but eventually ends up always being beneficial and far more comfortable than those tight pants.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett Image

@Elisa- What a great reminder that change is temporary and that "the discomfort will pass." Very encouraging words to help us get through to the other side.

@Scarlett- So glad that this post resonated with you. Most appreciate the positive thoughts you bring to the conversation that change eventually ends up "being beneficial," especially when you change those too tight pants.

Great to "hear" your wonderful voices!

March 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

OUCH! Oh boy...does this ever hit right on target! Too tight alright!! My greatest personal resistance to 'change' relates to my business and my 'discomfort' regarding social media and internet marketing. My realization is that I must indeed "..get comfortable with being uncomfortable." Your 'tight pants' analogy provided me with a visual image of my business wanting to 'burst out' but by my resisting to 'step out' I am allowing my own limitations to continue...and it hurts the bottom line. Love the way you think, Linda!! Thank you for this valuable 'ah-ha!'

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheila Delson, CPO-CD

Sheila- Wonderful to "hear" your voice. Thrilled that you received an "ah-ha" from this post. Discomfort always accompanies growth. So if you're feeling that, you know you're on the right track. And as we talked about the other day, would be happy to talk more about "social media" strategies with you.

March 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love change, but I hate going through a change. Once I know a change is imminent (a move, a new procedure, etc.), I just want to get started with whatever is new.

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- I know just what you mean. There's something thrilling about the idea of change, yet the discomfort we feel along the way isn't so easy to handle. It's also true that once we make the decision to make a change, moving forward becomes much easier. It activates our energy. We are no longer debating whether to change or not, and instead shift to the "getting it done" mode.

March 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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