The Challenge of Change
Change is defined as making a difference in the state or condition of an idea. Another aspect of change involves substituting the state or condition of the idea through transmuting, transforming, varying, mutating, amending or modifying. Change consists of altering one’s attitude, decision, or opinion.
As described by Pat McLagan in her book “Change is Everybody’s Business” change is about personal empowerment from the inside out and not what others bestow upon you. The images that you hold within your mind create the world as you know it. Your capacity for change then becomes very personal and is a function of the images that you hold for your future.
In his book, “Having it All” John Assaraf describes how mental thought is a form of energy which exists as a precursor to your physical realities. Images that you hold of the future create your reality and by articulating those images, you create your world.
Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of “Who Moved My Cheese” uses the characters “Hem” and “Haw” to demonstrate how new beliefs encourage new behaviors. “Old behaviors will not lead you to new cheese as realized by Haw.”
So Why is Change so Difficult?
Let’s first ask ourselves the question “How Amendable Are You to Change”?
How willing are you to be coached, to be advised, to be mentored? Your answer is very important because it will directly correlate with your chances for future success.
“Of course, I’m teachable”….or so we all like to think. Have you met anyone who has ever admitted to being unteachable?
There are countless people who are only fooling themselves with that automatic answer. They give themselves away with the “Yes, but… .” response. Or more usually stated, “Yes, but… you don’t understand,” followed by the thinly disguised excuse which is really just stubbornness, stupidity and sometimes just pure self-destructiveness.
They attend seminars, they schedule meetings with their superiors, they profess to want help, but when it comes to receiving help, they refuse it.
Now who would pay money or invest time to learn something and then walk away empty-handed? A very foolish person I might suggest. They are confused about their success. They want it but they want it to be free. They want it but they want comfort even more. They like gratification and are unwilling to forego their instant gratification for the greater good.
The Fear of Change
Living with small doses of pain or discomfort is far less threatening than the fear of change. The fear of change is so overwhelming and debilitating that it stifles any desire to take the necessary actions in pursuit of a “Preferred Future”. Old patterns, even old negative patterns, are comfortable. Learning and doing something new is uncomfortable, and repeating the same pattern again and again can only get them right where they are and no further. This is the challenge of change.
We love to complain about how things are and blame others for our reality; we play “the blame game.” We pretend to want change, but when we are told how to change, we revert to old patterns to avoid discomfort.
The “blame game” circumvents change by blaming others while giving up control of our destiny. Complaining about our current situation is much more comfortable than changing it. Many people would rather cling to their problems and obstacles than actually implement the change their teachers, guides, and mentors offer them.
Like the villagers who tried to help the little boy who falsely called wolf, people in a position to really assist you will also tire of your false cries for help. You shall lose your teachers. You will earn a reputation for being “un-helpable”. That translates into “un-promotable”, “un-desirable”; someone who foolishly wastes others’ precious time and knowledge.
People cherish their information and knowledge because they worked hard and paid dearly to obtain it. If they share it with you, they expect you to use it. If you ignore it, they will give up on you and teach someone who listens. Good students are never without a teacher, because teachers love teaching.
Success is a series of steps taken forward fueled by learning and learning involves change. We certainly learn from our own mistakes, but how wonderful if we can learn from others, too. Reduce the learning curve by becoming a brilliant learner, a pleasant student while delighting your teacher. Be humble in the fact that you may not have all the answers and others may have pieces of the puzzle that you may not possess. Be teachable and attempt to learn new things.
Don’t be like others who cry for help but then they say; “But I can’t,” “It won’t work,” “That’s not who I am”, or “I shouldn’t have to.”
Life is far too short to make it more difficult than it has to be. Get rid of your ego, cast off the stubbornness and get teachable! Pick teachers who know what you need to know and then delight them by using their gifts. Demonstrate that kind of appreciation and you will never be without assistance. It is no coincidence that those with the smallest egos have the fewest barriers to embracing assistance; they end up with more of what life has to offer. Also, be mindful that change can be very incremental, and we sometimes feel we have changed more than others have perceived.
Ultimately, the purpose-driven individual will add value to themselves, to relationships, and to their workplace based on how others perceive their stance and response to change. The following character traits will establish what capacity you will participate in the change equation:
- Are you a negative force opposing change or are you optimistic and hopeful and open to a better future?
- Do you influence through criticism and judgment or are you willing to have open discussions on how behavior affects others?
- Are you viewed as a pessimist or optimist and how do you lose or gain by being one or the other?
- How does your tendency to make negative or positive statements affect your participation in things that are changing, and does that impact your leadership position?
Remember, your belief systems create your attitudes and behaviors that help deliver desirable results. Keep on challenging your belief systems so they are in alignment of the outcomes you aspire.
Protect, develop, and nurture your core competencies in our ever-changing world. Your core competencies should remain revered, but your means of delivery can never stay static in order to preserve competitive advantages.
Securing a posture for meaningful change is an arduous process as we seek to alter how we deliver products and services to our clients. Over time your experiences with change shall bring many more rewards than challenges. This positive feedback loop shall become the catalyst needed to live a life in quest of change, delivering the abundance you deserve, as we get closer to our “Preferred Futures”.