How to be successful in a changing, ambiguous world
“Citizens of democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defence to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.” Noam Chomsky
Life has changed tremendously in the last few years and it shows no signs of stopping! This constant state of flux means adaptability is key to not only surviving, but thriving.
Because of this, many businesses and organisations are now approaching leadership roles and management with the ‘VUCA’ model.
VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It describes the situation of constant, unpredictable change that’s now the norm.
It requires leaders to gain new skills, approaches and behaviours to manage effectively. The acronym coined in 1985 in the book ‘Leaders Strategies for Taking Charge’ by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, might be relatively new, the situation is most certainly not. The world has always been in this state to some degree – just take a look at history.
Government, media and those who hold the strings to power have always been adept at whipping up fear and drama. We’re simply dealing with different threats, challenges and technology now and with our constant exposure to myriad information streaming into our homes and hands, polarised beliefs and false truths compound the situation even more.
Whether it be the financial crisis or climate crisis, human trafficking crisis or food crisis or a physical or digital war – there’s an endless stream of stories through the news and social media about lack and fear, pointing blame and and pitting us against each other.
How fear helps society
Maintaining the population in a continual state of fear makes it easier to control. When we’re living in fear, our critical thinking is reduced and we’re more likely to accept solutions that we’re told will make us safe and are for the collective good. We will be saved! Is this done on purpose? I have my own beliefs. Yet whether it is or not, how do you feel after watching the news, or doom scrolling on social media? Do you feel refreshed, energised, creative and full of ideas? I suspect not!
At the end of day, what matters is how we respond to what’s going on. I get that people want to know what’s going on, yet it’s debatable as to where to find that out. OK get the daily news once or how about looking up and out from your screens, do some work on yourself and take action – whether that be towards your goals or creating a better world.
How NLP helps
Let’s take a step back and look at the human brain.
When we’re born we have a brain a quarter of the size of an adult. Our brain doubles in size in the first year, and by age 3 is about 80% adult size.
We absorb enormous amounts of information in our first three years – it’s when much of our programming occurs. Most of us have our thinking directed in ways that continue the accepted cultural norms and behaviours that many of us never question.
We go through life accepting that that’s just how it is and that’s just how we are. This mode of thinking means we view external events as affecting our internal world, when in fact, it’s wholly the other way round. Our internal world, our thoughts, behaviour patterns etc affect how we perceive and react or respond to the world.
NLP encourages us to be curious. If something isn’t working for us, we can explore our thinking patterns, our perception of others and our understanding of the world more deeply. As we become more flexible and adaptable in our thinking, understanding and behaviours, we become limitless.
Interestingly, the skills gained with NLP are exactly what the VUCA model requires in the workplace – critical thinking, emotional intelligence, flexibility, creativity, and leadership.
How do YOU want to live?
Many people don’t realise that we get to choose how we approach the world. You can be a flimsy balsa boat that gets tossed and thrown about in stormy seas or a solid made vessel carving a path of its own…and anything in between of course!
Ok, we might not be able to control global events, we can however control our thoughts and actions, the consumer choices we make and how we respond to what’s going on locally and globally. You can take control of your world from inside and act from a place of empowerment if you choose to. You are after all, in control of your mind aren’t you?
Here are 7 ways NLP can help you do this
1. Find purpose and create a compelling outcome
I’ve had several clients in the last few months of this year, who’ve found themselves at a crossroads, lost and unclear of who they are or their purpose.
We all need a purpose, along with clear intention and compelling goals to draw us towards it. Having values that are aligned and congruent to our goals considerably increases our motivation. Taking action and doing something that we know has meaning, making a contribution and knowing that we matter is important too, as without these we slip into boredom, apathy and even hopelessness.
2. Adapt to thrive
The one thing we can be sure about is change. It’s no use hanging onto the past because that simply keeps us stuck. Humanity has faced upheaval many times over the centuries and has continued to revive, develop and thrive.
Surely it’s a better idea to take responsibility for and contribute to creating the environment you want to live in? There are plenty of people out there right now generating new ways of doing things, like building independent schools or homeschooling, new housing and health initiatives and growing food. They’re doing so in a collaborative way, fostering community building and greater human connection.You can always think globally and act locally.
3. Stop the blame game, take charge of yourself
It’s too easy to point the finger out and blame, yet there’s no power in doing so and it doesn’t get results. You’re empowered when you take responsibility and take control. Every decision and choice you made consciously AND unconsciously brought you to where you are now. Accepting that, you can also know that all your decisions now will affect your future. When you think and act in a flexible and adaptable way you have more choices, opportunities, and will experience greater success.
4. Have everyday adventures!
If you’re feeling stuck, this will help. Having adventures helps us to experience life from a fresh perspective and the curiosity, creativity and fun add a spark and energy to our lives. Yes we humans love certainty; we also desire novelty and the new, yet we rarely create the space for it. Openness to adventure increases our ability to be comfortable with uncertainty and our confidence and ability to take risks.
An adventure is simply something where you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, so get creative. Go to work or walk your dog by a new route and you never know who you might meet, or what you might see. Dress in something completely different, study something new or volunteer.
5. Invest in yourself
Certain skills have been identified as crucial for the changing world of work, these include critical thinking, emotional intelligence, flexibility, creativity and self leadership. An investment in your own training will only add to your personal growth, skills, capability, confidence and income too.
6. Believe that you can and you will
Creating certainty inside will help to create certainty outside as well. Dissolve your inner doubts and the voices of the naysayers and remember you’ve had a 100% success rate with every challenge so far – you’re still here aren’t you? Recognise and remember that anything worth doing always comes with some level of uncertainty and fear – those feelings are present because you’re doing something that matters to you.
Where attention goes, energy flows, so set your beliefs to serve rather than sabotage you.
7. Take action and make things happen
There’s never a perfect time to start something. Putting things off until next week or the new year often results in further procrastination or not starting at all.
If you really want to make something happen you can. Recognise the underlying value for you and make a decision. You always have a choice. Real lasting change takes investment, commitment and accountability, be it changing your career or job, your home, your circle of friends or taking care of your relationships, finances or health.
The Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner certification teaches you the thinking and skills to navigate choppy seas with greater ease. It will teach you how to be unlimited in your thinking and behaviour as you recognise your own personal power. You’ll know how to access your inner resources at any time and have a strong sense of who you are and be primed for success with certainty.
The Path to Personal Transformation
NLP, Time Line Therapy®, and Hypnosis are powerful approaches that can facilitate your journey toward personal transformation. They can help you:
- Find clarity and develop a vision for your future.
- Make a plan and take actionable steps towards your goals.
- Release and be complete with your past.
- Heal emotional rifts.
- Change your thinking and perception
- Become more empowered and self-assured.
- Take control of your destiny.
And the beauty is – this can all happen in a comparatively short time.
In 2024, the best investment you can make is in yourself. Whether you choose to become an NLP practitioner or embark on a personal breakthrough journey, NLP, Time Line Therapy®, and Hypnosis can help you shed the weight of your past and emerge more empowered, confident, and self-assured.
We have one life (that we consciously know) and it’s too short to be burdened by past regrets, indecision, and unfulfilled potential. Embrace the power of NLP, let go of what holds you back and step into 2024 with the conviction and confidence that you can shape your own destiny. It’s time to really make this coming year your best one yet, permanently clear of the clutter clogging up your mind.
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