From Changemaker to Changemaster

Becoming a Changemaker

5 years back I opened a completely new chapter in my life.

If I’d had to name it, then “From Corporate to Calling” would probably describe it best.

What a venture. Years of exploring, travelling, experimenting, and learning. And years of searching. Searching for ways how I could live up to my true potential and make use of my gifts and strengths in the best possible way.

Hallelujah, what a relief when I finally discovered my true calling: I want to be a Changemaker.

I want to drive and encourage positive change in other people’s lives.

And that’s what I do. Every single day. And with all my heart and all my commitment.

“The End” is what you’d expect to read after this life chapter. Mission accomplished, right? Well, not so fast. Becoming a Changemaker had been only been part 1 of this venture.

The Quest after the Quest

I think everyone who already went through a career or life transition, or is seriously thinking about one, can relate to what I realized: transitions are never straight lines!

At best, they are a extremely winding roads, at worst they resembles a huge pile of pasta, impossible to identify a start or an end point. All just a huge, gluey mess.

So gaining clarity that I wanted to create positive impact in other people’s lives was just part one of this venture. Knowing how to master this pile of pasta, was the second. And it was probably the more challenging one.

Why?

Because I wasn’t really prepared to find a quest after the quest. After finally figuring out my calling, I thought now would be the time for straight lines again. Now I could just sit back and harvest the fruits of the hard work of finding myself. The right job would just appear, the content would just flow, the clients would just line up. And foreseeability and stability would finally take the lead again.

Well, that had been wishful thinking!

Turning into a Changemaster

So what else had to be part of my learning curve? And why wasn’t it enough, just to be a Changemaker?

In retrospective I know now, besides being a Changemaker, I also had to become a Changemaster. And I had to understand the difference between both.

Putting it simple, the key differentiator between a Changemaker and a Changemaster is the direction of their actions. And their “target audience”.

While a Changemaker primarily focuses on the outside world, on other people’s lives, a Changemaster also turns inwards. And for a good reason. The Changemaster understands that without mastering internal change, and change in your proximity, driving change in other people’s lives would be a rather short-lived venture.

I’m now sparing you the nitty gritty details of my second quest of becoming a changemaster. But what I do want to do, is to share my key learnings with you. So you might be able to take a some shortcuts.

#1 Respect the strength of your foundation

Identifying your strengths, your calling, your potential, is an essential foundation.

And as in construction, you need to allow this foundation to dry in order to reach its maximum strength. You wouldn’t immediately build a skyscraper on top of a fresh foundation before the concrete is even dry, and risk a collapsing building shortly afterwards.

The same goes for whatever we want to build on top of our strengths and potential. Going through a career change often means building up a completely new foundation for ourselves. And at the beginning our security, our confidence, and our perspective might be still weak. That’s normal.

So whatever you’re building on top of your foundation, make sure it has the appropriate weight.

In Life Designing we call this approach “prototyping”. Risking enough to gaining real life experience and clarity for ourselves; but not risking too much to endanger our still fragile foundation.

#2 Solutions don’t come in boxes

Transitioning out of an unwanted career or life situation always bears the danger for black and white assessments. Especially in the beginning there’re often so many harsh feelings involved that the grass on the other side always seems greener. And we start to build up our own classification system. Corporate bad, non-profit good. Business bad, philanthropic good, and so the list goes on.

Yes, very tempting these kinds of classifications, because they provide at least a certain structure in these confusing times.

But they also limit us greatly. And they limit our perspectives. Because the best ideas and solutions I’ve seen out there and for myself were out-of-the-box solutions, were merging-boxes solutions.

Being a Changemaster means turning aways from strict classifications and becoming a master of diverse and interdisciplinary ideas and solutions.

And it also means finding closure from old resentments to maximize our future opportunities.

#3 Patience is a virtue, not just a nice attribute

Being a Changemaster also means understanding the true value of patience. And understanding that it’s not just a nice attribute, but a fundamental virtue in creating change.

Quite a challenge in our high-speed society. We got so used to receiving everything in a blink of an eye, from information in the internet to amazon prime delivery, from startup’s overnight successes to instant dating apps, that patience seems like story line from a fairytale.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in two or three decades” This quote by Tony Robbins couldn’t describe better what’s the greatest pitfall on our way to driving long-lasting change. Not being able to master patience. And not having the long-term vision.

So being a Changemaster also means freeing yourself from false expectations and hyped success stories. Every Changemaker story is different. And every Changemaker story has its unique timeline.

And a Changemaster knows and respects this.

So sometimes being a Changemaker isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to step up your game and become a Changemaster. They both go hand in hand and they both will help you achieve your greatest aspiration: driving long-lasting, positive change.

Are you looking for more support on your Changemaster journey? Then check out my Group Coaching Program.

Enrolment closes March 1st.

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