Do you ever find yourself behind the wheel of your car, at your destination, with no recollection of how you got there?
It’s a common experience – and it makes me wonder how we are not all madly crashing into each other on a regular basis! Instead we have this internal auto-pilot that functions reliably because our brain has become wired through habit to get us where we usually go.
So, what happens when our “auto-pilot” goes awry? What happens when the patterns and habits we rely on to get us through our days – these things that happen in the background without needing our attention – what happens when we mess with them?
If you’re feeling a “where did I put my keys,” sense that you may be losing your mind, you are. Literally. I’m observing that our transitions back to work and school are messing with the things that were on auto-pilot from our 18 months at home. The very things that we struggled to give up and let go of in March 2020 – those reliable patterns of our lives – we replaced them with new habits and patterns. Those habits and patterns are now on auto-pilot themselves! Meanwhile, we’re trying to go back to the things that made our lives work before, and they are outside our grasp. Like meal-planning. And getting ready at night for the next day. And finding office keys we haven’t seen in forever.
PANIC. Or merely fear… Discomfort. Brain fog… So if you are seeing a lot of stress in your environment (I am!), and feeling oddly not yourself, the explanation might be that your auto-pilot isn’t working.
This is a huge adjustment! We are asking our brains to change. Organizations that are allowing for a slow transition and offering flexibility will be rewarded with a less-stressed, more productive workforce. Those that are rigid and demanding everyone toe the line? Watch for lost productivity, low morale and resignations.
If you’re a leader of people, you have a responsibility here – and a massive opportunity.
If you have decided it’s time to get out because of a lack of humanity and awareness where you work, you are not alone. We can help.
Cheers to your career!
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