Do you want to get better at dealing with change?
All of the inevitable constant ups and downs in life? If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.
Want to Get Better at Dealing With Change? Here’s How with Jenny Blake
In this conversation, we’re talking with author and international speaker, Jenny Blake, who helps people move beyond burnout to create sustainable, dynamic lives that they love.
There is so much goodness in this episode from mindset to strategy to habits.
This is the last installment of our Summer Masterclass: 5 Tiny Habits That Will Change Your Life.
On how Jenny got to writing her book, Pivot:
Jenny wrote Pivot, a book about how to figure out what's next and how to navigate change because she didn't feel very resilient to change.
Although she had the trappings of success, it wasn't until she left Silicon Valley and Google to go out on her own that she really started to calibrate her life and health to what she actually needed.
Up until that point, her life had been about people-pleasing, worrying, perfectionism, and a tremendous amount of anxiety and insecurity.
Yet, although she felt so free when she left Google, two years into running her own business she was wondering once again what was next with no paycheck to fund it.
"I realized I had to double-down on body, mind, spirit, and wellness practices in order to do anything. That's where it all starts and that's also what has helped me feel so much calmer".
On perfectionism and people-pleasing:
Perfectionism is rooted in two things: fear and desire.
The desire is to a great job or be a great person, and the fear is that if it's not done perfectly, someone isn't going to like it or bad things will happen.
Jenny has an analogy of domesticating dragons like fear and insecurity and perfectionism.
Just talk to them, "what're you trying to protect me from? What do you need from me?"
If you can have a dialogue with her fears and perfectionism, you can do something about it.
"Sometimes it's just having the fear and moving forward anyway."
Instead of trying to battle it out, take care of yourself and listen.
It's okay to be afraid, it's okay to want to be perfect or to be an achiever or to be the best but we can kind of find peace with these things instead of having this war going on inside of us.
You can find self-love through self-trust and loving actions towards others.
"It doesn't serve me or anyone else for me to hold onto fear and insecurity, but there's still sometimes a gap between intellectually knowing that and then in our bodies really saying it's okay".
If you're someone who wants more self-love but doesn't know how to grab it, just practicing loving actions toward yourself can get you there.
Although Pivot is definitely for the business and career space, it’s applicable to anyone who is looking at a change or transition in their life.
The Pivot method: when a basketball player stops dribbling and they're going to pivot, one foot stays planted and it doesn't move, then the pivot foot can scan for passing options.
The crux of the pivot method is to start with your strengths, with what's working, and with a vision of what success looks like one year from now.
That's your plant foot and it’s crucial in order to have any creativity or sense of momentum when you start scanning for what's out there.
Plant, scan, and pilot, and you can do it over and over.
On guiding principles and the happiness formula for health:
The happiness formula is about the ingredients in your life that help you feel grounded.
Make a list of micro and macro elements to your happiness.
What are my micro elements of day to day happiness? (reading, meditation, exercise, social opportunities)
What about on a macro level? (where am I living, what is my home environment like, what is my work picture)
Then when you're feeling down, you can go to this list and do what you need to do.
If you're feeling stuck, go smaller-- think about what you can do in ten minutes instead of an hour to bring you happiness.
Finding your values with a mind map:
1 | Write values on a piece of paper.
2 | Start by drawing spokes to what's important to you (gratitude, service, love, etc.).
3 | From those, draw spokes to what's important to you about that (from a value of freedom, what's important about freedom, time freedom, freedom to schedule my day how I want, etc.).
4 | Draw as much as you can and try to fill the page.
5 | Review and highlight themes from the page.
6 | Narrow down to five or six values that you can easily remember (*optional).
On how your body is your business:
Our bodies are fundamental in our ability to do or accomplish anything.
Once she left Google and worked for herself, Jenny realized that if her body wasn't feeling its best, her work and business were impacted; there wasn't anyone else there to pick up the slack.
She realized that her body was not the enemy.
Our bodies just want to help us, they just want to be healthy, that's it.
Now, she treats her body like her business and her best friend so she can do what she does best and honor the gift of having a healthy body.
Try writing it on a sticky note and place it somewhere you'll see it: “my body is not my enemy”.
And if you're not there yet, if you don't believe "my body is my best friend", write something that reinforces the relationship you want to have and can have (“my body is my ally”, “my body is my teacher”).
It's not easy to flip the script on seeing the body as an enemy.
There's some stuff we have to unlearn.
Focus on the relationship you want to have with your body.
On decision fatigue:
Decision fatigue is a fancy way of saying willpower is a limited resource.
Research shows that the more decisions we make, the muscles in our brains that are used to make decisions or exert willpower are fatigued.
When it comes to health, by the end of the day you can have the best intentions to work out or not eat sugar, but decision fatigue can get in the way.
As much as we can, create some routines or pair up working out with something else to make it less of a decision.
While walking and exercising for meditation is great, sitting with her eyes closed and breathing quietly has been a game-changer for Jenny.
It creates a quality of being and a quality of mind-body that is so healing, cumulatively too.
She used to feel like she didn't have time to meditate, but she's changed to now think about not having time not to meditate.
It is crucial for showing up for everything else in her day in her life in the best way possible.
Don't worry about doing it right.
Just sit spine tall so that your breath flows nicely, you feel proud, and your posture has integrity.
Try and relax the muscles in your face and deepen your breathing.
What's on Jenny's mind now:
Jenny is interested in soul and spiritual practices, even outside of religion.
We can all tap into this side of ourselves that has faith in things working out or faith in something bigger or can invite grace into our life, some of these principles that go beyond what we're doing on the surface.
How are we being and how do we find peace? How do we find a sense of soul, purpose, and peace underneath what's on the surface?
For now, Jenny loves podcasting and speaking.
But if she does write another book, she wants to write it for people interested in this kind of conversation that we’ve had today.
Surrender means that every day for everything you can surrender needing to know how to answer a question about the next step.
Surrender is a process of releasing control and be willing to be shown, releasing attachment to the outcome and follow your intuition.
On what it means to be healthy:
“Radiating joy from the inside out”.
On one tiny change:
One tiny change: micro-moments of self-kindness.
I know that self-care can become an overwhelming idea, so I love the idea of breaking it down into micro-moments and calling it self-kindness.
What self-kindness looks like for you might be different than what it looks like for me-- that’s actually the beauty of it.
When you focus on what works for you then it doesn’t matter; you step out of that comparison cycle and spiral and into your real, beautiful life.
Here’s what I want you to do:
Go through the next day looking for micro-opportunities for self-kindness.
Maybe that looks like taking a five-minute walk outside or maybe it looks like going to bed a little early, taking some deep breaths, listening to your favorite song, or taking your foot off the break and looking for ways to take care of yourself.
Use the hashtag #teamtinychanges on social so we can see your work in action.
Jenny Blake is the author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One (Portfolio/Penguin Random House, September 2016), which won an award for Axiom Best Business Book in the careers category.
Jenny combines her love of technology with her superpower of simplifying complexity to help clients pivot their lives. Her motto: if change is the only constant, let's get better at it.
Podcast: Pivot Podcast