A useful definition of insanity is: “Doing what you did yesterday and expecting a different outcome.”
Uh huh. I agree – it’s crazy! Yet how many of us want improved lives and enhanced performance – without the will to change?
Every single desirable development of our lives will require change. The “C” word. Why on earth do we resist it so? Well…
1. It hurts…
Yes, it does. There is an in-built part of my brain, and yours, which is absolutely dedicated to preserving homeostasis. Anything different (particularly exercise, in my opinion) causes severe discomfort – and so it should! This clever reptilian brain of ours, is just trying to protect us from imbalance. It hasn’t realised we’re in the 21st century and if we DON’T change we’ll die.
2. It’s somebody else’s idea…
Well, that’s usually true! Most other people seem to feel they know what’s good for us, better than we do, right? So almost all change or improvement initiatives are initially inspired by an external source. The question is – do we share the same desire for us to be different?
3. On the other hand…
Maybe if I do change, other people in my life might become uncomfortable, because they know me as I am, and they are resisting change. So if I embrace it, I may not be able to embrace them any more or they may not embrace me. That could be very lonely.
4. It shakes my self-concept…
I form my identity, my world-view, my core belief system which drives all my responses, behaviours and actions, quite early in my life. It creates my orientation. If anything happens to alter that orientation, I become a displaced person. Even if it’s only momentary, it requires an adjustment on my part. That’s hard work. If I have to do it too often, I can become quite disoriented and dysfunctional. After all, how can I possibly perform at my peak if I don’t know who I am?
5. I like things just the way they are
Well, maybe they’re not perfect. But they’re OK. And if we change things, they could be worse! Better the devil you know, than the devil we don’t!
Just take a moment to check in with me on this:
- Have you ever wanted conditions in your life/work/family to change?
- Have you ever owned any of the above resistances?
- Have you ever observed them in others around you?
They’re common. They’re almost universal. They will get in the way of just about every improvement you want to implement in your business environment or in your personal life.
The final challenge
And here’s a final challenge in creating change. Check out the beliefs of everyone involved. Robert Fritz, author of ‘The Path of Least Resistance’, shows graphically how a negative belief will inevitably sabotage any attempt to move out of the current situation. The resulting Structural Conflict will make any improvement impossible, without awareness, open acknowledgement and the chance to shape a managing strategy.
Success strategies are simple.
You know what you want. You believe you can have it. You work out how to get it. You take action. You know with confidence that you will have it -and it arrives.
We do it every day and love it! So, why on earth do we sometimes make it so difficult?
You can easily manage change in your personal or business life by following these five strategies:
Build the vision
Get it strong, big, bright, clear, moving, real. Discuss all the positive effects. Accept the challenges and the obstacles. Know the value. Ensure there is 100 per cent ownership and support.
Establish the power
None of us is a powerless victim of our world. We can stay and grow or we can run and hide. We can choose to make a difference and we can choose to be different. We should be responsible for our own accountability.
Select an action
All change requires effort. One action alone can get it started. Any action is better than none. All action provides feedback. The whole process may not always be clear – and probably can’t be.
No one needs to know all the answers in advance.
Take a step
With personal courage, acknowledging any risks and ensuring there’s a safety net. Provide self-encouragement, every step takes us somewhere. Check the results with the vision. And, the next step is of course, to build the vision.