How do you react? Self-Reflection

(part 1 of 2)


When you are faced with a change, how do you react? Do you feel anxious, scared or excited? All of the above? This is not a trick question; there is no right or wrong answer. There is just your answer. And your response will be based on all things you – your personality, experiences, values, beliefs etc.

Whether a client or a consultant, there is no shortage of change. The differing projects, deadlines, directions, hours, challenges, meetings – things are always changing. And of course, there’s life. Aren’t all of us, in 2013 – a time when technology and possibilities are advancing faster than we can blink – living in a context of constant change?

Well, hello life. My name is Jessica. And I am a Virgo.  A Virgo who lives up to her astrological characteristic of being a perfectionist…

I am on a constant quest to figure out why I react a certain way, how I can improve, and, if I can’t improve my instinctual reaction, what I can do to help myself through while easing stress levels. Why such a quest? I already mentioned the perfectionism… but life has also taught me that with so many things outside of my control, I could be tested at any juncture. I need to be prepared. In handling change and maintaining a healthy mind, I try to understand where my reactions come from and find techniques to help when I am entering negatron territory.

Over the past while, there has been a lot of transformation and change in the public service. And knowing it will continue, I thought this blog was well timed to encourage you to take a time-out and reflect on the way you react or have been reacting to changes. Some questions I use include:

  • Did I immediately think about how the change would impact me? My colleagues? My family?
  • How did I perceive the change?
  • Did I fight it?
  • Did I question its purpose?
  • Did I try to find value?
  • Was I supportive?
  • Did I recognize its benefits for the greater good?
  • Did I have a physical reaction? What kind?
  • Did I over-react? What might have caused the over-reaction?
  • How did I feel the next day/s, week/s?
  • Did the change end up being as big as I had made it in my mind?
  • Did I talk about my concerns openly?
  • What did I do when I got home (e.g. go for the couch, my bed, the phone, the gym, a walk etc)?

You might surprise yourself when you do this kind of self-reflection. You may be proud of some of your reactions and shocked by others. Of course, this all depends on the type of change you are assessing yourself against, so we should bear that in mind and be realistic with ourselves.

I believe that by looking at past experiences, discovering what makes us tick can help us manage our reactions and the stress that might come with them in the future. There’s an accountability aspect that tugs at human nature once we understand a bit more about ourselves.nighlok-negatron (3)

After the self-reflection – the techniques. This is what I like to visualize when I start to go down that negative path, seeing only bad things in a change – negatron. I have a pool of preferred techniques that help me avoid the monster to the right and get grounded, objective and allow more positive, healthy thoughts to enter my mind. Stay tuned for these techniques in my follow-up blog.

Virgos are also very reliable.

Jessica is a business consultant with over ten years of experience working in both public and private sectors. Her ability to understand the clients perspective and aptitude for problem solving has led her to deliver transformational communications, change management, process improvement and performance measurement projects. Jessica is part of Systemscope’s Enterprise Renewal team.


Leave us a comment: * Your information is never shared