They’re potentially transformative moments in how we think and behave. Yet we often retreat at these Break-Through moments to Change and Innovation.
It was a Turning Point. A Turning Point that involved lost keys, and myself and a bunch of five year olds searching an oval. It lead to a moment when my Private and Professional Worlds collided.
- I recounted this situation in Episode 16 of my Pushing The Edge Podcast
- Listen here (from 11:37 minute mark – although whole episode is definitely worth a listen) or
- Listen on ITUNES:
It got me thinking about Break Through Moments in our everyday lives.
I was listening to the Unmistakable Creative Podcast which featured Jeff Spencer as guest.
Jeff, who has coached Olympic Athletes & High level Executives, spoke about the moments when people were at Break-through Moments.
Moments when they were poised to depart from their predictable routine ways of thinking, behaving or performing – And begin new ways of being, engaging and doing with their worlds.
It was precisely at these Break-Through moments that a consistent pattern was identified (amongst the athletes).
They reverted to their old, familiar ways of thinking and being. Their old practices or their business as usual.
It struck a chord with me.
Let me back up a little… I was in the process of creating a new page on my website – that described a new direction I was taking.
I felt lost and stuck. It seemed that no matter what I did, I couldn’t work out how to construct the content for this page.
- How to start;
- What to include;
- How to word it.
It was like my brain had switched off. As I got more and more frustrated, I reverted to old, familiar ways:
- gathering an endless series of webpages as models;
- pulling together masses of content from pages I’d written previously;
- distracting myself with twitter and emails, and news websites.
Eventually I decided, stuff it – I’ll bring it all to my partner and get him to help me to work it into something interesting and inviting.
But Nope. He wasn’t having a bar of it. He was wise to me.
I was so annoyed, so frustrated.
The old, familiar ways felt comfy to me.
Yet they stopped me from dealing with the fact that my new web-page wasn’t getting done.
They kept me secure, insulated from discomfort, from anxiety, from annoyance.
And SO I listened to the Unmistakable Creative podcast the next day, speaking about Break Through Moments.
It was a light bulb moment. This was my Break-Through Moment.
I had to tough it out – to take myself to the new level and begin a whole new adventure (that was way outside my comfort zone – way outside what was familiar to me).
SO I set myself a deadline – to construct the first sections of the page before lunch.
No Twitter – No Distractions – No Avoiding. Just sit and do it Greg.
I chose ONE model to focus on – ditching the ten hundred I’d collated (okay I exaggerate slightly but you get my point) to give me ideas about the structure.
I sat, sat, sat… Nothing came…
The urge to flick to Twitter. The inexorable pull to get up and do something else was Strong.
It kept coming imploring me to take some time out – to feel comfy and secure again. I thought to myself:
I gotta sit through this.
I just started writing. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t perfect but it was momentum.
And that was crucial.
There were fragments that I kept shifting around, then deleting.
Moving back and forth from the model to my writing. It didn’t gel and those old familiar ways continued to tempt.
It was excruciating.
Write that first section Greg and then you can go to twitter.
I kept saying to myself.
Keep Attending – Keep Persisting Greg – Stay Present – Stay Focused.
Slowly, over the hours through through much shifting and deleting of text, and many re-writes;
Through frustration and temptation, the tide began to turn.
Something was shifting.
The web-page gradually started to take a form that made sense.
It flowed and felt more like me.
This, I guess, was my Break-Through moment for now.
My first steps into a new space for me.
And yet as I look back now – poised at further Break-Through moments, I realise that it’s not just a matter of conquer Break Through moment and that’s it. Mission Accomplished.
I know that there’s gonna be many more tense, uncertain, frustrating moments – that I have to work through – if I’m to keep moving forward into new, unfamiliar terrain.
If I’m to keep Pushing The Edge for Change and Innovation.