Does Fear Of Change Limit Your Happiness And Success? - Column #163
Change remains a reality of business, whether we want it or not. Business environments, economies, team dynamics and technology all change. So, for that matter, does the weather and relationships. Life is all about change. And if we habitually resist change, we limit the potential of all that’s available to us personally and professionally.
Many people avoid change because they must change themselves. Others who resist change focus on how hard the change will be, the possible negative outcomes and fear of the unknown. Moreover, we become comfortable in our current positions even if they ’re not creating happiness and success. By one estimate, fully
40 percent of people — about 3 billion worldwide — resist change.
In our tendency to focus on the difficulties rather than benefits of change, we stop ourselves from exploring opportunities and 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 happiness and success personally and professionally.
If your business has stalled or is failing, your health declining or your relationships unfulfilling, you can use your awareness of these facts to face the reality your resistance to change has diminished your happiness and success more and more each day.
Honest self-appraisal is a vital step in choosing to make a change. As you become conscious of the negative feelings and undesirable results of your choice to resist 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 find pleasing.
In my coaching and consulting work, I show people how their thought and behavior patterns work 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 enable them to change their reality in positive ways. The focus is on the reasons for making a change, the process of change and the benefits for doing so.
One example of this would be letting go a team member who possesses all the skills necessary to do the job, but whose attitude and behavior damages corporate culture, customer relations and the bottom line. If you walk into your business and feel an aversion to certain team members because of their negativity, then a change is in order. This all-too-common situation becomes more damaging the longer it’s allowed to continue.
Business owners and managers often avoid personnel changes because of the time, effort and money involved in hiring and training new team members. 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 avoided.
As you turn your attention from what at first appears to be the overwhelming effort involved in creating positive change and focus instead on the benefits, you’ll find an energy that makes the endeavor seem a lot less daunting than first perceived. In other words, a major barrier to change is eliminated when you focus on how it will improve you and the situation.
Humans are amazing. They can accomplish great feats once they open their minds to the possibilities 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 discover you’re not pleased with the way things are going in your business or life, choose to make a change in you first — in how you perceive change.
In doing so, you better position yourself to take actions that will improve your situation and enhance your feelings of happiness and success.