As of today…

This transitional, uncertain, ill-defined space, this space in which you find yourself as a result of a recent change, this space which has you feeling anxious, uncomfortable, longing for “normal,” this is your space, but only as of today.

There are two things to remember about this space:

  1. It is not a permanent condition. It is, in fact, a season.
  2. You get to choose how to be in it, how to feel about it.

You may feel anxious and displaced but those feelings are only a tiny fraction of those available to you, those you can choose to experiment with and explore if you are inclined to do so.

You could add feelings of curiosity or hopefulness. You could go from withdrawn to activated or even involved. You could claim your agency and decide to investigate the opportunity, share your questions with others, lead through connection, transparency and disclosure.

You could choose to find a productive energy in the unknown, to allow your vulnerability to inform your sense of possibility.

You might even decide that how you’re feeling about the change right now will simply be as of today. Tomorrow, you have another chance to expand the list of what you feel, incorporating the hard feelings into a much broader list that will serve you in this season of change and well into the next.


nature sky sunset the mountains

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Onward and Awkward

I gave a keynote speech yesterday on the topic of “Leading Change.”

After my talk, an attendee approached me and shared that an old boss of his used to advise his team to keep moving “onward and awkward.”

There is no change or learning or growth without the uncomfortable feelings that attend us into the unknown.

Those feelings are a reliable early warning system that it is time to pay close attention to ourselves and our surroundings, a time to be more connected to others rather than less, and a time to fully embrace a beginner’s mindset.

That’s a lot to juggle all at once and doing so will always feel awkward.

But isn’t that awkwardness, even when it lasts longer than we think we can stand, a far better alternative than giving up on learning?

Your ego and your expertise and all of your lived experience – everything that draws you back to the safety of the status quo – will survive the truth that there’s still so much to learn.


blue jeans

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The Timelessness of Feeling

There is an odd and unpredictable relationship between my iPhone and my car’s bluetooth receiver (cue, “First World Problem” music).

Sometimes it just starts playing music that I haven’t told it to play. And this is surprising to me because I almost never play music in my car. I am a devoted podcast listener. I am hungry – ceaselessly hungry, it seems – for information. Sometimes current events, often times interviews, but always the spoken word.

The other day, taking my daughter to school, on it came; a random shuffle of the music on my phone. And it was a good song, something from the musical “Next to Normal,” I think. “Oh, this is good,” I said. And we listened. And then I thought, “Well, let’s just see what comes on next.”

“Daniel,” by Elton John. No way I was changing that one.

And then an amazing cover of “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy. Incredible.

One after another these great artists joined me in the car: James Taylor, Pearl Jam, Glen Hansard, Colin Hay, Simon and Garfunkel.

Not once did I want to change to a podcast. I was in a reverie of my music, reminded of what it means to me, grateful for it.

It seems our devices know a lot about us these days. Mine knows something that surprised me, something I am relieved that it knows: that once in a while I need to be washed in the timelessness of feeling instead of the immediacy of knowing.


DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.