Whenever asked, “If you can change one thing in your life, what is it?” “I wouldn’t change anything at all” is the most practical way to respond to it.
We have romanticized being satisfied with what we currently have long enough that it starts to justify resistance and misses the benefits that we can get if only we had taken that one great opportunity to make a change.
In your journey to becoming successful in your career or personal life, change can either be your friend or foe, it depends on how much you know to turn it into your advantage.
Resistance to Change
In 2016 Forbes’ company assessment, professionals, managers, and top executives got to assess their style in managing change. Data shows that leaders tend to overestimate how much employees are willing to change. Respondents were asked to choose between two statements:
1) People generally like to remain in the status quo
2) People generally want to reach for something bigger and better
The results astounded the leaders as it shows 45% of their people generally like to remain in the status quo, which suggests that frontline employees are reluctant to leave the current situation and hesitant to embrace change. This is a significant number that needs to be reduced for them to successfully facilitate changes in the company and let go of the old ways. Once they get through this, only then they can effectively bring their growth to reach for something bigger and better.
Appreciating the value of change can only be easier said than done. Because things can be intimidating when you are introduced to something new and set to do things for the first time outside your routine. There is a resistance to change because getting out of the convenience in the status quo is never an option — unless you are forced to do so. This speaks so much for the criticisms in the “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. Yes, it might be practical if we only talk about repainting the house or buying a new Smart TV. But in this fast-paced era of life, business, and technology, the pursuit of being the best version of yourself and achieving greater success with your career will not go anywhere. If you only wait for things to get broken first before you do some fixing.
Therefore, we need to fully understand the value of change. In this way, one could leverage it to achieve success in your career ventures and personal growth.
Why change is necessary?
If there’s one lesson that 2020 has taught us, it is the reality of how things can completely change in a blink of an eye, or in a single sneeze for that matter. Everything can change and we hold no control over it. It’s a big “Nothing is permanent” slap in the face, and those who weren’t able to adapt to the changes that took place were left either stale or totally gone.
The goal to become successful these days is all about embracing and mastering change. If you are not embracing change, you are not achieving anything. You are just living in the status quo and existing until fate will hit you again with a big slap in the face.
You owe it to yourself to reach your maximum potential and become everything that you have ever dreamed of being. The opportunity to go further than you’ve reached so far is always there, you just have to seize it. Your dreams can go from great to greater and you become better to best. But with grand pursuits come grand efforts, and grand efforts are the sum of all the little things you have done. These baby steps are the daily decisions that you had to make. Now, you must check yourself where you are:
Is it good?
Is it bad?
Is it the place you have pictured yourself to be five years ago?
After all, it is what and how you make it.
If you see that you are in a bad place, you surely don’t want to only sit and stare and do nothing about it. If you are already in a good place, you certainly want to sustain it and keep doing better. If you are not yet there, then you definitely want to reach that place at the soonest time possible.
But how do you arrive at your destination if you stuck yourself in the same place you’re in, doing the same things over and over again?
Amazon would not be the multi-billion Amazon that we all look up to if they remain an online retail store for physical books. It is through continuous learning, innovation and not missing opportunities during changing times that they became the largest and leading e-commerce, cloud computing, and AI company that they are today.
Who would have thought that the decline of demand in oil and gas furnaces during the 1950s, could be the greatest opportunity to spin the business of what we know now as one of the biggest and most popular children’s modeling clay, Play-Doh. Now they have reportedly sold over two billion cans of this colorful product used for crafts and arts.
The way these multi-billion scale corporations made their way through change and emerge to success can also be applied to your career and personal growth. Remember that the quality of life does not get better by chance. It can only get better by change. When you do things the same way you’ve done it in the past five years then you are settled with the same results. Should you wish to improve it and get better results, then you must do things differently.
7 ways to leverage change
The Grab Life by the Horns podcast episode: “How to change without losing yourself?”, talks about how your change is correlated to how you drive yourself to success. To succeed you can either make changes to reach your goal or change the goal itself. One must keep in mind that change is painful, and growth can be equally painful. All the changes that we need to go through, even changing for the better, always correspond to discomfort.
How something so uneasy and unsettling can be taken to your advantage? Here are seven simple ways:
- Have clarity of purpose
You can turn to change into your advantage if you can clearly map out the compelling need for it. When your mission and vision are intact, you act efficiently. There will be no wasted time and energy because you do it intentionally.
- Be your captain.
This requires self-discipline, integrity, and a great sense of accountability. Strong leadership skills are critical to managing change. Keep in mind that you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. You are capable to set your ship and sailing through the storm. Your full self-awareness is the key to guiding you on this revolutionary road.
- Be motivated by your passion
Always go back to your “Whys”, “Why are you doing this?”, the answer must be strong enough to fuel your driving force to keep going. If you know your reason for doing this by heart, you will develop full trust and confidence in the decision that you make. That way, you will not be easily swayed by what other people have to say.
- Focus on the goal
You must always keep your eyes on the prize. Do not get distracted by the things that are meant to delay you in arriving at your destination. You can bring yourself there in good condition or you’ll lose yourself stuck in the sidetracks. You may pause and reflect to evaluate the short-term results to make minor adjustments, but you must stick to the long-term goal.
- Be consistent
Do not break the momentum while you are in the middle of the transition. Do not stop when you are tired most especially if you are distracted by doubts. Only stop when you are done. Consistency is always the key, implementation of the new approach is only the beginning. It should be a continuous effort. Success is not about how good you start, it is about how well you sustain it
- Understand the implications
It is important that you clearly understand that making a change has its consequences. You must be willing to sacrifice and do whatever it takes. When you keep an open mind towards the implications of the changes, you are more capable to anticipate the needs in resolving possible threats and conflicts.
- Develop resilience
More than anticipating the known risks, you as an individual aspiring for greater success would be able to cope with volatile and complex circumstances once you develop your adaptability to change. In an arena of constant change, your non-adaptive behaviour is the one that defeats you. The more you get used to enduring and emerging through the implications of disruption and adversities, the easier for you to survive and bounce back.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”- Charles Darwin
Change is constant. It is either you make a change or change makes you. Greater things do not come from your comfort zones. Sometimes it comes from the decision to make a change.
Let me ask you again if you can change one thing in your life, what is it?
Forbes | Forbes | US Chamber | Association of MBAS | Naylor | Huffpost