How Balanced is Your Perspective of Change? - Column #195
Change is a reality in business, whether we want it or not. Business environments change. Economies change. Team dynamics change. Technology changes rapidly. Life in general is about change. If we habitually resist change, we limit the potential of all that is available to us professionally and personally.
A primary reason many people avoid change is because they must change themselves. People also focus too much on how hard the change will be, the possible problems and fear of the unknown. People tend to become comfortable with the status quo even if it’s not working to create happiness and success. By one estimate, 40 percent of people — more than 3 billion worldwide — resist change.
In focusing on the difficulties of change rather than the benefits, we prevent ourselves from exploring opportunities and taking action. Basically, we avoid change because we only focus on what we perceive as the downside. This must be overcome with a more balanced perspective of change to experience increased happiness and success both professionally and personally.
If your business is failing, your health declining or your relationships unfulfilling, you can use your awareness of these circumstances to face the reality your resistance to change diminishes your happiness and success more and more each day.
Honest self-appraisal is vital in choosing to make a change. As you become conscious of the negative feelings and undesirable results of your choice to red light change, you can use that discomfort to propel yourself forward. Most of us reach a point where we can’t take it anymore. Getting really honest with yourself will help you reach this threshold sooner, saving precious time and resources in creating a reality you do find pleasing and rewarding.
If, during your honest self-appraisal, you find you’re unhappy with the way things are going in your business or personal life, choose to make a change 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.
In my coaching and consulting work, I show people how their thoughts and behaviors work against what they want — how they’re actually working against themselves and the happiness and success they desire. Then, we 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, the process of change and the benefits for doing so.
One example of this would be letting go a team member who possesses the necessary skills to do the job, but whose attitude and behavior damage 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, a change is in order. This personnel situation is common in the business world, and it becomes more damaging the longer it’s allowed to continue.
Personnel changes typically are avoided because of the time, effort and money involved in hiring and training replacements. There’s also the aspect of not wanting to have the tough talk or confrontation that can accompany letting someone go. And then there’s the fear of retribution, unemployment claims and being bad mouthed.
As you turn your attention from what at first appears to be the overwhelming effort involved in making a change and focus instead on the benefits, you’ll experience an energy that makes the effort seem a lot less daunting. In other words, you eliminate a major barrier to change 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 possibility and decide to take action. Change is 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 good thing filled with opportunity.