September is over and we, for one (or more accurately two), are breathing a huge sigh of relief. It’s not just a fashion thing; although, hey there October cardigans, cable-knit tights and cosy boots. It’s more that every year September comes around and knocks us for six.
In lots of ways, September is a time of possibility. It’s back to school and back to work: the time many of us think of new resolutions. A sort of New Year but without the dark mornings and Christmas hangover. A time to reset and launch into projects new.
And we started the month, like many of you, with bubbles of possibility, excitement and fresh ideas. But along with those resolutions, came, inevitably, change. Two of our five children started new schools, we found a new workspace, we started recording our new podcast (more on this shortly!) and, after a gentle August, our rhythm moved up at least 5 notches on the productivity scale. The result: we’re still excited, but we’re also a little out of our comfort zone. Plus that post-Summer energy is starting to wane.
Which is why it was timely that yesterday we interviewed Farrah Storr as the first guest on our new podcast, THE SUCCESS REVOLUTION, launching on November 12th. The outspoken and innovative Editor of Cosmopolitan has just published her first book: The Discomfort Zone. Being challenged, she says, is essential to success. In fact, it’s only through those Brief Moments of Discomfort (BMDs) that we progress. Ironic then, that we were not only living our own moment of discomfort – our very first foray into podcasting tested our self-belief – but also at the tail end of September, our very own Discomfort Month.
We’re not going to lie, we’re relieved to be into October: we’re finally into our stride and have respective short breaks on the horizon. But September’s discomfort was, as Farrah says, absolutely necessary. The trick in coming out the other side of any change is to navigate it in the most effective way FOR YOU. You’ll have to wait a few weeks for Farrah’s (brilliant) advice; did we mention podcast launch date is November 12th?!
But here, for the moment, is our own mini CHANGE IT UP plan. This is how we navigated September and came out smiling on the other side…
1. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
We ask this a lot, but how well are you treating yourself? Most of us make huge demands of ourselves, that we would never make of colleagues or friends. At times of intense change or discomfort in a certain area, we might need to go easier on ourselves in other spheres. Think: “What can give?” and “What would I say to my best friend in a similar situation?” rather than “I should be doing it all!”
2. CHANGE IS A PROCESS
Change can make you fly, yes. But it can be tough too. Remember that it takes, on average, three months to adjust to a change. That’s true of small adjustments – new office – as well as bigger life adjustments, for example, a new venture or pivot. Time is often all it takes.
3. TAKE BABY STEPS
If something seems daunting, tackle it on a small scale first. Before we launched into our podcast interview, we had done several where we were on the receiving end, as well as practising with each other. The more you DO, the easier things tend to BE. Which means that even something that felt challenging in September, could be second nature by the end of the year.
4. EBB AND FLOW
Whilst they can be challenging, times of high energy bring undeniable rewards. Our September has been a shock to the system, but it’s undoubtedly been a time of huge progress for us too. Don’t make the mistake, however, of operating at this pace on repeat. For every time of challenge, we always try to schedule in a time to go slow. After teaching a day of Step Up School, for example, we leave the next day meeting free. Like yin and yang, it’s only through this balance of pace that we sustain our creativity and drive. After all, it’s still 80 days until Christmas!
We’d love to hear how September has been for you. And what the rest of the year has in store. Plus, stay tuned for more details on THE SUCCESS REVOLUTION, coming to iTunes and Acast very soon!