Making Change Happen

A change in your life is long overdue.

The sky may be the limit for your personal and professional growth but the question is why you are stuck in that same old pattern. You spin away on the old hamster wheel of life. This blog is not about blame or shame but to give you the nudge and means to move on.

We seldom grow when we are threatened or fearful. For instance, people who are “sent” to me for coaching and told, “If you don’t change your behavior, acquire a certain skill, or adjust your attitude you will either be fired or not get promoted” seldom make the necessary changes under such pressure. Even the doctor telling you “you need to drop your weight, lower your cholesterol, or stop smoking” does not necessarily get you on the path to health.

Old habits die hard.

But you are saying “enough is enough” and are finally ready. But maybe you don’t know how to change or lack the resources.

Here’s how.

1.   Clearly define your end game. A vision of what your world will be like after you start the change process is a helpful blueprint. Just be aware that once you start the journey the outcome can change. But you have to start somewhere. Our move to Mexico started in part by us reading “A Thousand Places to See Before you Die” and writing “Must Go” next to the pictures of our current home town.

2.   Quickly manage your fears. Even the most adventurous person has to face a series of “What if’s?” Many fears can be managed with good research and reality testing. It helps to talk with people who have made similar decisions and realize that your fears are pretty much a creation of your own mind and run of the mill. It is also helpful to note that even with our fears we cannot accurately predict that things will actually turn out that way.

3.   Remember past resourcefulness. You have survived some pretty challenging situations in your life and in the process learned useful coping mechanisms. Remember how you said at the time “If I get through this I can survive almost anything!” Well you did survive and now you can cash in on those lessons learned.

 4.   Allow for hiccups. Just because you run into internal or external barriers don’t see them as catastrophes. Look at these perturbations as teachers along the way. I love what one person told me “I failed my way to success”.

5.   Identify and follow best practices. Most of the resources we need to make changes are not closely held state secrets. You want to become an executive – find out how from those who have already taken that road. Want to change your profession, where you live, discover healthier relationships, or kick a bad habit your options for resources are unlimited. The problem is not with finding good information but the motivation and drive to take the step.

 6.   Get a big enough “why”. Archimedes said, “Give me a big enough lever and big enough fulcrum and I will move the world”. Work on enlarging your “Why”. It could be everything from “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking this anymore” or as it was in our move to Mexico, we fell in love with the place where we live.

Excuse the cliché but it’s time to reject what your conditioned mind tells you and follow your heart and trust your gut.

You may also want to read “How We Change”

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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