When was the last time you did something new?
New in the way that causes you to stare into space, with a blank mind. That turns your stomach into a knot, and makes you want to hide.
New is a scary thing.
It means we have to say ‘yes’ to things that may unsettle us, and embrace feelings that we do not find comfortable. Embracing things like change, and the unknown. Embracing feelings of surprise, and accepting we are not going to know the right answer.
It means we have to say ‘no’ to things that we find comfortable, and let go of feelings that we find comfortable. We have to let go of routine. We have to loosen our grip on control.
The risk of doing something new can hold us back. It is easy to avoid making decisions and doing things that are new, because enough new is thrust upon us every day anyway.
Doing something new on purpose, can just be too much.
This is OK. The notion that we must leap into every new possibility, or seek out every mountain, forgets the context of timing and situation.
When the time is not right, or when the moment feels like it has too much pressure, we should reflect on new, and decide not to do it this time.
But without new, life does not have the richness that it could. When it is right, new moves us forwards, exhilarates us, creates value for others. And with practice, new can feel normal.
At MMC, we love new. But we try to do it with thought and consideration.
New for us, is bringing positive change into the world, by finding ways that the everyday lives of our clients, and their clients, can be better.
We love to create something from nothing. But we never do it for its own sake.
Before we begin something new, we ask ourselves some questions. Questions that help us to write down what we are trying to do.
Questions that help us put ourselves in the shoes of our future selves, and anticipate what bits might be difficult. Or the shoes of others – to remind ourselves always who we are making change for.
We use this to make sure that what we are doing, matters.
We believe every person we work with, and every project, has their own unique path to go on. By asking questions, it helps nudge one step, one day at a time onto the individual path that is right.
Maybe one question will lead to another question. Then maybe that leads to even more questions. Then maybe you suddenly have a whole new idea – the plan shifts one step closer to the ideal.
Any new change can open you up to judgement from others. All we can do is believe that the right people will understand that this was the journey, this was the path that was needed.
There may come a time where you almost don’t recognise the place you were before, the person you were before. At times like this, you can take pride in the hard work it took to get here, the challenges you managed to overcome, the value you are giving the world.
It does not remove everything we might be feeling about doing something new, but it helps.
It reminds us that doing something new is not a switch to flick, it is a journey.
It describes how we will carry out our work. And how we will check that our outputs are at the quality that we expect. The craft of making sure that everything we do matters.
Finally, it helps our minds. It helps us to make good choices together, and collaborate to reach better decisions than we can alone. It helps us turn over every stone, by asking others to see what you don’t see.
It brings us together.
If you’re reading this, and feeling the itch of a new future, we hope we have helped you to understand that you are not alone if you feel resistance when doing something new.
Doing something new, should be treated as a privilege and approached with the care that new deserves. It is fragile and wonderful. Scary and exhilarating.
Write it down. Make sure it matters. Share it with others.
And finally, when the time and the context is right, take the leap and don’t look back.