“ If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got”
A powerful quote we all hear, or see time and time again, and often nod, agree, and make private or spoken recognition of the change needed in our own lives at some level.
To get from where we are today, to where we want to be in the future, either long term or shorter term, there is a BRIDGE – That bridge is called CHANGE.
In business, this is just as true as in life. If we want to succeed in business we must learn to better embrace change.
Some are more comfortable and able to embrace change more than others, but even those who shout ‘Change? BRING it on!’ have a tipping point, a limit to where their avoidance of change would turn up.
On that bridge called change, there can be discomfort and for some this may mean PAIN, as human’s when faced with a choice to face discomfort or pain we can experience FEAR, or apprehension, especially if we cannot see an end ‘date’ or time frame, or even at times a perfect outcome. Which then can lead to avoidance.
At times, we have ventured courageously onto the bridge, but when it got too ‘hot’ – too uncomfortable, we turned back, retreating into old habits, and the comfort of what we knew.
An interesting observation I have made about the space called ‘where you are now’ – even if that space is not pleasant for many reasons and we KNOW we need to change, the FEAR of crossing that bridge is greater than the pain of staying where we are, the old saying “Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t” seems to fit well here.
We are HUMAN, and humans like comfort – no one likes to be uncomfortable for long, especially the concept of being uncomfortable for a period of time that seems to have no end in sight.
Going to the dentist, having a medical procedure, squishing into a small car for a short trip, standing on a bus to give someone your seat, are some examples of being uncomfortable for a short period of time where we see an end, we know it will be over in a set amount of time and so we tend to carry that off.
5 things you can do to embrace the changes needed to get to where you want to be:
1. Acknowledge where you are with a trusted mentor or coach, if you are really stuck to a good old fashioned ‘pros and cons’ list for staying there.
2. Make your goal, where you want to be, written and clear following the SMART model or something like that, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound – WRITTEN goals are 100 times more likely to become a reality, especially if shared with someone you trust who will keep you accountable and encourage you.
3. If the main goal or where you want to be is BIG and long term, then you need to get smaller shorter term goals, 6-12 months, that are milestones and pointing you in the direction of the bigger goal. For each of those you then need some ACTION steps to make sure you are doing something every month in the direction of where you want to be
4. NOW would be a good time to acknowledge any ‘failed attempts’ of crossing this bridge in the past and to notice the thoughts and beliefs you may have collected from that experience, these need to be dealt with in order to move forward – you may have got half way across and something happened, you made it mean something, retreated and made your mind up about the situation, the BEST way I know is to write down that thought, ask yourself “ is this useful to me crossing the bridge?” If not then you are at choice, you can re write this – BE your OWN COACH in your mind. Cheer yourself on with positive statements as you would if you were helping another.
5. CHANGE your mind about CHANGE – within in change there is incredible growth, with growth comes strength and sometimes new opportunities and confidence – your comfort zone expands, CHANGE is a good thing, and necessary in business and LIFE unless you want to stay in one place for the rest of your days.
‘LIFE and BUSINESS, is 10% about what happens to me, and around me, and 90% how I respond to it’
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, it has inspired me over the years to look at how I am thinking about something and to make a positive change or keep on putting one foot in front of the other on that bridge.
Oh and what is with the other arrow going up half way across the bridge? This arrow shows that sometimes we have got half way across the bridge, things got painful, we got disillusioned and instead of retreating to where we were, we take a detour! Go down another path, because it seemed more comfortable, easier, but because that is a detour off our path of purpose, our bridge to OUR goal or future that burned in our belly, this other path often leads to its own set of discomfort and in fact can be a lot hard to come back onto the bridge from.
Now go cross that bridge!
To your beautiful journey of change