Transformation is an Itinerary, Change is an Event

Transformation is an Itinerary, Change is an Event

The ability to lead change and drive transformation is not inherent in most people and whilst schools, university and churches may teach how to lead others, they do not teach how to lead self. This a gap in our core learning since any change that will take place, begins with the decisions we will make only after we accept that we will agree to change and make a conscious decision to do so. By beginning with changing from within,  all resistance to change itself is removed; energy is available to move into action and resilience is improved with less chance of burnout.

Transformation is an iterative process of incremental changes applied overtime. These incremental changes build upon each other, reinforcing and embedding the previous changes so that they become intertwined and embedded into our DNA to make new components of our being. The end result is a transformed state, which cannot go back to its original state. 

Transformation from embryo to human
Photo Credit: Shutterstock Dragana Gerasimoski
Think of the birth of a human being, which begins with the division of one cell and cumulates nine months later into the emergence of a fully functional, physical body. At no point in the transformational process could the biological matter go back to its previous state once it had been changed. I.e. Once the ear had become an ear, it could not go back to not being an ear.

So this state may be physical but it can also be emotional leading to behavioural change and growth in emotional maturity. Either way, the incremental changes that it has gone through, means that it transformation has already taken place.

Transformation can only occur over time, through the adoption of totally new and unfamiliar changes that take us through one, two and in fact multiple breakdowns, break ups and painful experiences. As human beings we know this but choose to ignore it by saying things like we need to be tough or by denying displays of emotional expression in the workplace, referring to people who display them as weak. Also in the workplace, we further negate the power of the emotional and behavioral changes leading to transformation by placing them under the label of "Soft Skills Development" yet there is absolutely nothing soft about being reprimanded in front of your peers or even the entire organization because you messed up!

Let's return to change for a moment. If I go into a room and change the position of the furniture, draw the curtains and switch a lamp or two off, I would have changed the look and feel of the room as well as possibly the atmosphere but my son can come back in the next day and change it all to exactly how it was before. However, if I go into the same room, remove all the furniture, change the wallpaper and the carpets and replace loose curtains with venetian blinds - even if I put the same furniture back, the room will never be the same again because it has been transformed.

When we transform, we let go of something, we lose something, therefore there will be a grieving process for what has been lost. There will be a period of rest after the turmoil and fatigue of multiple changes. There will also be a period of adaption or an incubation period, where we learn to adjust our behaviours to the changes that have occurred. and learn how to use the new skills that we have learned. People around us usually also have to learn to adjust to the new, transformed person in front of them and there will be tenderness and sensitivity before one can fit comfortably into the body of new beautiful being that we have transformed into.

When contemplating a journey of transformation, do so with the understanding that there may be many changes that you will need to undergo before your transformation may be complete. Take ownership of each of those changes along your itinerary and remind yourself that they are mere stepping stones on your journey to self-mastery and fulfillment through personal transformation.

Enjoy your transformation journey by embracing change.



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