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Change, the Ugly Zone, and 2 Ideas.

Change, the Ugly Zone, and 2 Ideas.

Twelve years in the corporate world. Looking back, in some ways it was like being a cocoon. Or, perhaps oddly, a womb, of sorts.

And so being borne into the self-employed world in 2016 was a shock. I felt about as ready for it as a new born in the National Maternity Hospital is for life (although I could swear that my five month-old nephew has been here before).

For starters, I had no laptop or phone. Both had belonged to the mothership. I had no IT department to ring now either. I was the IT department!! Trust me, you do not want me as your IT department…..

‘Em, have you tried turning it on and off again?’

And then there was the, ‘so what do you do?’ question.

Can I please just say, ‘oh, I work in a multinational’?.

In essence, what was happening for me was massive change, dressed up in the flowerful attire of a big career move.

And it felt awkward, uncomfortable, vulnerable and awkward. And that’s just me picking from the top-shelf of descriptors.

As performance expert David Alred would say of my predicament, I was in the ‘ugly zone’ of change. The immediate aftermath of ‘normal’ and miles away from normalising ‘new’.

The Ugly Zone.

What can we do to manage the ‘ugly zone’ of change when we land there?


By all accounts, Rome took more than a few days to build. Significant change is no different. Work out the exact end-goal. And then create steps to get there. Completing one small step (by-step) is a lot less daunting then tackling one giant leap.

Celebrate Successes:

With each step done, you are closer to ‘home’. You are also building confidence and belief. It’s nice, maybe important even, to raise a glass, a cup, a mug to mark the progress. Sure do your ‘praise the process’ and your ‘power of yet’s’ too. It’s a reinforcer of the good to make any celebration of the forward step taken.

Change is everywhere.

Is it in your work life just now?

Can these two suggestions make a positive change/validation for you in your approach?

This blog is based on one of the six key motivational themes of the Inspo Next Chapter Series. It’s a motivational series helping the staff of businesses to map out the best post-pandemic chapter in their work and personal lives. Could the Series be of benefit to your business? If so, please do get in touch at john@inspo.ie to learn more about the Series.