It’s easy to think of change as a negative course, mainly, because most of us just don’t like change. But change is good! I personally use to fight against change and believed that most change was going to bring about a negative outcome. Was it just me, or is it human nature? Since I don’t like to feel inferior, I’ll blame it on human nature. Over time however, and maybe with age (I mean experience), I have learned that change is what you make of it. Sure, bad things happen to all of us, but somewhere down the line, you will usually find good, or at least a catalyst for good, in almost every change you experience.
We all like to feel that our lives are stable and dependable, and the idea of anything disrupting our comfortable routine can be scary. But while change may seem frightening, it’s actually an important part of life. Take my divorce for example, although painful, and in my eyes, a terrible experience, once the dust settled and the hurt subsided, amazing and positive changes have come from that experience. I manage my work and home life better, I spend a lot more time with my kids, and I don’t sweat the little things nearly as much or as dramatically as I use to. I still bring home a paycheck, my work still gets done, and clients are still as difficult as they always were – right Glen ;-). I allow myself a lot more fun now, as I travel through my life changes.
Here’s why change is good!
Change gives you the opportunity to improve
Change is good. Stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing your own limits is the only way to improve. If you never do anything differently, you’re not going to get anywhere new. If you want to improve in any area of life, you’re going to have to start by making some changes. You can start small if that’s easier for you, making one or two minor changes at a time and adjust along the way, or you can jump in with both feet and make bold, major changes. It depends on your level of comfort and what you think will help you reach your goals. Just make sure that you’re fully embracing the changes you make and see them as opportunities to improve! Oh, and it helps if you have someone to cheer you along.
Change helps you learn to adapt
Being able to adapt to new situations is a key part of being successful. As nice as it would be to be able to control every situation that you venture into, that’s not a realistic expectation. Whether you like it or not, life is going to throw you curveballs, and your ability to adapt, will be the difference between reaching your goals or falling short. As things in your life change, use those changes as opportunities to learn how to adapt to new situations.
Change helps you gain new skills
It’s great to have skills in one area, but it’s even better to be well-rounded. Change gives you the opportunity to experience new situations and build new skills in response. A change in careers can allow you to learn a new skillset as you adapt to your new responsibilities. Early in my career, I was terrified to let employees go. Even those who were not up to the job or who were unhappy at their work. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Today, I spend a lot of time talking to parting-employees about this, and honestly believe, that the change they are about to experience will actually benefit all of us, and you know what; every time I look back and/or talk to the past employee, it was. As you embrace change, you’ll find yourself picking up the pieces, brushing yourself off, building new skills and becoming a better person along the way!
Change gives you a new perspective
In addition to helping you improve, changing your routine, environment or your beliefs will always help you see things from a different point of view. I love flying across country. Not just because I get to eat those little cellophane-wrapped sandwiches with hot mustard and drink salt-laden spicy tomato juice, but because it puts things back into perspective. I work with people from all around the world and if I don’t get away from the office from time to time, I always fall back into my own little narrow valley of thinking – limited by towering mountains and one narrow freeway of thought. I begin to think that the whole world revolves around me. When I travel, I’m reminded of just how big the world is, of ways in which I can be better personally and perhaps, most importantly, I get to see the topography of my professional work canvas in a whole new light. Simply put, it changes my perspective and at least for the next few months, makes me a better person!
Sure, change can be hard, it can be painful and it can even be scary, but if you open your mind to the opportunities that may be veiled but for a moment, you will turn a seemingly undesirable experience into a life altering experience that may put you on a path of endless rewards.
To help you along your way, here are seven steps to help you along your path
Step 1: Change your thinking
When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs. Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a byproduct of what you have thought about over time, something that you have bought into—always remember that.
Take Action: do something you have never done before – Keep it legal and clean though! ;-)
Step 2: Change your beliefs
When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations. Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we can’t, we are correct.
Take Action: Reading each of them, tell yourself (out loud) that you can achieve your beliefs!
Step 3: Change your expectations
When you change your expectations, you change your attitude. Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get to average. Over time, when their expectations fail; they give up. Believe that you can. Expect that you can and your attitude will change.
Take Action: Write down your expectation (goals) and place them on your mirror.
Step 4: Change your attitude
When you change your attitude, you change your behavior. When our attitude begins to change, when we become involved with something, our behavior will also begin to change. You must first take the journey before others will follow you there.
Take Action: Read, listen to and watch positive and uplifting materials. Stop watching the news!
Step 5: Change your behavior
When you change your behavior, you change your performance. Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions. We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Until we gain courage and live with something that is not yet comfortable for us, we cannot get any better.
Take Acton: What about Bob. Need I say more!
Step 6: Change your performance
When you change your performance, you change your life. It is easier to turn failure into success than it is an excuse into a possibility. I promise you, when you make excuses for what you are doing and excuses for where you are you will fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities.
Take Action: Monitor and record your success, even if they are small!
Step 7: Change your thinking
When you change your way of thinking you will change your life. For me, the art of living is to embrace and cultivate change. After all, if you’re not moving forward through positive change, you’re failing through mediocrity. Don’t be that person.
Take Action: Enforce your change. Share your new thoughts, beliefs and success with others.
Other articles by this author:
Setting Goals and Starting Over.