Is Your Resistance to Change Limiting You? - Business Times Column #135
Change is constant in business whether we want it or not. Economies change, business environments change and team dynamics change. Life in general is about change. But if we habitually resist change, we seriously limit the potential of all that’s available to us professionally and personally.
A primary reason many people avoid change is because they must change with it. Another reason some resist change is they focus on how hard change will be, the possible negative outcomes (typically assumptions based on our fear of the unknown) and their tendency to see the glass as half empty. We also become comfortable in our current position, even if it’s not working for us in creating happiness and success.
In focusing on the difficulties rather than benefits of change, we stop ourselves from taking action. We avoid change because we focus on what we perceive as the downside. This must be overcome if your intention is to experience increased success and happiness professionally and personally.
If your business has stalled or is failing, your health is declining or your relationships aren’t fulfilling — to name just three circumstances — you can use your awareness of these facts to face the reality your resistance to change diminishes your happiness and success more each day.
Honest self-appraisal is a vital ingredient in choosing to make a change. As you become conscious of the negative feelings and undesirable results of your choice not to change, you can use that discomfort to propel yourself forward.
Most of us reach a point where we “can’t take it anymore.” Getting real honest with yourself will help you reach this threshold sooner, saving precious time and resources in creating a reality you do find pleasing.
In my coaching and consulting work, I show people how their current thought and behavior patterns are working against what they want and how they’re actually working against themselves and the happiness and success they desire. We then develop new thoughts and behaviors that allow them to change their reality in positive ways. The focus here is on the actual reasons for making a change and the multitude of benefits for doing so.
One example of this might be letting go of a team member who possesses all the skills necessary to do the job, but whose attitude and behavior damage corporate culture, customer relations and the bottom line. If, when you walk into your business, you feel an aversion to certain team members because of their negativity, then a change of some sort is in order. This personnel situation is common in the business world and becomes more damaging the longer it’s allowed to continue.
Personnel changes are typically avoided because of the time, effort and money involved in hiring and training a replacement. There’s also the aspect of not wanting to have the tough talk or confrontation that can accompany letting someone go. Fear of retribution, unemployment claims and being bad mouthed are other reasons personnel changes are commonly avoided.
As you turn your attention from what initially appears to be the overwhelming effort involved in creating positive change and focus instead on the benefits involved, you’ll take on the change with an energy that makes the effort seem a lot less daunting. In other words, a major barrier is eliminated when you focus on how change will improve you and the situation.
Human beings are amazing and can accomplish great feats once they open their minds to possibility and then decide to take action. Change is much easier when we choose to see it in a positive light. As we embrace change, we alter our perception of it from a bad thing to a positive thing filled with opportunity.
If, during your honest self-appraisal, you find you’re not pleased with the way things are going in your business or your life, choose to make a change in you first — in how you perceive change.
By doing so, you better position yourself to take actions to improve your situation and enhance your feelings of happiness and success.