Join Us as we Reframe the Way we Manage Change

Reframing Change: What was your defining moment?

Written: February 28, 2014, by Nancy Harkrider

There is no more powerful way to begin any collaboration than to share our stories.  Stories are the DNA of the human Lighting the fireexperience.   It is how we make sense of our important life events and the questions they inspire – how we understand ourselves most deeply and how we feel the warmth of that digital campfire.

The Question   What event or situation was a turning point for you in recognizing a need to reframe how you view change?

Nancy’s Story:  For those of you who know me, you won’t be surprised that my change story has a different twist. It happened  years ago with a repetitive, disturbing dream that involved my standing in front of an ugly brick wall and  unable to climb over it or get around it.

When I described it to my life coach, she suggested  I close my eyes and visualize the wall.   Then she suggested I step back from the wall.   To my amazement, what I saw was a wall anchored in the middle of a beautiful field of wildflowers.   Talk about a reframe!  My life hasn’t been the same since.


Categories: Reframing Change

Tags: change reframe stories turning point

7 responses to “Reframing Change: What was your defining moment?”

  1. Eugene Reyes says:

    It was August 27, 1987. I was on the rooftop of my house, observing the distant rumbling of explosion and the black smoke coming from the not too distant direction of the palace. Renegade forces were bombing and strafing the palace in a bid to grab power. Troops were moving all over the city. I was listening to an AM radio broadcast, saying that the rebels were about to take over the palace. My heart sank. I told myself that this democracy is so short lived, and like a premature birth, has not been given the chance to fully gestate. Another change was coming, albeit an uncertain one. “There goes the aspiration for reforms of this administration”, I murmured to myself.
    In the intervening years, I mark this time as one in which the drama of change became clearly apparent to me.

  2. Rosa M. Mollo says:

    My defining moment happened sometime in the spring of 2011. My husband and I were embracing each other silently in the foyer of our apartment in Manhattan. My company had given me a few days off to recover strengths and energy after three intense months of work in the field jumping from one revolution to the other in the so-called Arab Spring. We both were used to my comings and goings. For the last ten years I had been traveling as an international correspondent all over the world. But this time our hug was different. Stronger and softer at the same time. Like he was afraid to break my body. His eyes were staring at me trying to ensure himself that the moment was real. We realized that the apartment’s door was still open. I closed it. At that precise instant I knew that I had to make a decision and that other doors would be waiting for me to be opened.

  3. All

    Wonderful start!

    A wall in the wildflowers, a revolution in progress and an evolution begun.

    Eugene’s observation, regardless of country, points out how circumstance forces us to see constraints.

    As Rosa suggests, sometimes we have to close one door in order to open those to greater vistas… like a field of wildflowers

  4. Tan Kim Leng says:

    For me, that change moment happened in the early 90s when I facilitated a planning workshop for a law enforcement agency. I was new to facilitation and was thrown into the deep end with a request from my boss to lead a session with one of the agencies we served. I made all the preparations I could weeks before the session. However, when that morning came, I felt inadequate and wondered how it would turn out in front of the senior management team of this agency. I asked myself why on earth I had accepted an assignment that everyone else had managed to avoid.

    Once the session began, I realized that I had to quickly engage them at the personal level or lose their interest in the subject. I began with a story of how the world was changing and why it mattered for all of us to pay attention to the future. The audience listened intently, responding with many questions that related back to their work. I took the opportunity to apply my ideas by using scenarios that mattered to them. This event was the defining moment for me and my work, and, as someone once said, the rest is history.

  5. Anjena says:

    My turning point occurred in the winter of 2009 in London. I was on the path of a promising investment banking career, which I had craved and worked hard for, but I was unfulfilled in my job and unsure of what to do next. Leaving London after nearly 6 years there had many implications and it felt scary to leave a job which felt successful. Before that point in my life, I had done my best to side step change by sticking to my initial goals and not embracing a revisit of what I wanted to do.

    However a particular day that winter, the time on my mobile phone, along with my alarm reset itself, and led to me walking into work at 5am instead of 7am. London being grey and drizzly all the time, it was not till I was seated in my office with my PC on that I realized it was 5am. That afternoon, I left work a bit earlier, went to my favourite coffee place and sat down to think. Suddenly there was a strong inner need to acknowledge that I wanted something different and that this unknown change that I needed was exciting and positive.

    It seems that day that my alarm clock awoke something deeper in me. Change was to be embraced and today I can see how this has led me to new adventures.

  6. Tyson Greer says:

    Baltimore summers are beastly hot (it’s the humidity, really) and back in the 50’s air-conditioning was not that prevalent. So at 14 years old, I watched my two-years-older sister take her first steps to a career as she headed for the bus that would take her into the sweltering city—it was already 94 degrees at 7 a.m.—wearing nylons and her stylish gabardine suit for a summer job in a bank. My heart went out to her—oh, the heat—but in that moment, I knew I wanted to take different steps. The next summer, I spent my mornings in coolness of a local church basement leading a small tribe of preschoolers in songs, dancing, drawing, storytelling, (snacks and a nap) in my first business, The Summer Morning Club. My sister has had a wonderful career path. I’ve led a life of course-changes. And we’re both happy with the paths we’ve taken.

  7. jim cody says:

    the positive thought that “the more it changes, the more choices it gives” , per jerry’s french quote, strikes well with my experiences and my goals. Make a change, anticipate the opportunities, and seize the moment. Lead the way to something good. Thats what i see happening here.

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