I have a love-hate relationship with change. I am often energized by the possibility of new experiences, but at times I am admittedly less than enthusiastic about building the momentum to leave my comfort zone.
Have you ever thought ‘I really need to do something different’ only to find yourself in the exactly the same position after weeks, months or even years?
Been there, done that.
If you struggle to proactively make advances in your life, you aren’t alone. I’ve learned that action is requisite to ultimately achieve different results. Here are 4 ways that you can quickly become an agent of change in your own life:
1) Experiment with small shifts. Consider making incremental changes that you can readily incorporate into your routine. Choose an alternate route for your drive to the office. Eat a salad with field greens instead of the usual spinach. Sit in a different conference room chair during the next staff meeting (only you can know if selecting your manager’s seat will be career limiting). Subtle changes can yield incredible progress over time. Stir things up and see how you feel.
2) Embrace the growth opportunity. Fundamentally, change can make you feel uncomfortable and who wants that? In reality, discomfort reveals your chance to develop on a personal and professional level. If you feel uneasy, you can also likely stretch yourself in some way. How can your ability to actively pursue change make you a better leader, team member, partner or friend? Perhaps a new approach will allow you to be more effective or reveal new ideas. Think about what you stand to gain by committing to make a change right now.
3) Evaluate your mindset. At times you may be hesitant to act because your fear and self doubt rise to the surface. I’ll never be competitive enough to leave my current company for a new position. I am incapable of sticking to a more healthful diet. I can’t save enough money to travel to my dream destination. What messages come to mind as you think about making various changes in your life? What are your real concerns? Examine your thoughts and determine whether your attitude is downright prohibitive or minimally, overtly pessimistic. Make a choice to take a more positive stance about your possibilities and potential.
4) Expand your tolerance for ambiguity. If you somehow knew how things would work out in the end, making a change would be infinitely easier. Regrettably, life doesn’t work that way most of the time. Cultivate your ability to move through the unknown and recognize that you won’t always be able to predict the outcome of your actions upfront. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do due diligence to understand your options and anticipate the impact. Be prepared, however, to forge ahead even when you have limited information.
If you could get where you wanted to go by doing exactly what you’ve always done, you would probably already be there.
I’ll let that marinate for a minute.
Identify ways to make tiny but relevant changes to build your capacity. Consider the growth that change can bring. Reflect on your mindset as a powerful tool to support change in your life. Increase your willingness to move forward even when the results of your actions are unpredictable.
Change isn’t easy, but it is ultimately essential for true transformation.
Engineer Your Bliss Challenge: Do something differently if you truly desire change.
What new action can you take in your life? Let me know your thoughts on Facebook.