This is the first blog in a series where I will look at the important factors we need to consider in order to influence change in our lives. These skills apply to us both in and out of the workplace because they apply to us as people, not the just roles we sometimes occupy.
The series will include posts on:
- Self Limiting Beliefs
First, here are the top ten things you need to consider when wanting change to happen. The tips can be universally applied; changes you want to make about yourself, about work or in your family. Not all of them will apply to every situation or to every person, but when you read each one, be honest with yourself; which do apply to you right now? Change can be difficult; it requires thought, bravery and energy. It can also be the easiest thing you have ever done.
Don’t be scared of failure
On the face of it, this sounds like a difficult thing to do, but failure is really just another opportunity to learn. Children learning to walk don’t see every fall as failure; they get back up again and again, knowing a little more about walking each time. What is crucial for us as adults is the view we take and the mindset we choose to understand the situation.
Be clear about what you want to achieve
When you think about booking a holiday, you think about what type of holiday would suit you. You consider the amount of money you want to spend, you think about the destination and the type of accommodation. Once it’s booked, you dream for months about the things you are going to do once you arrive. You imagine yourself lazing by the pool; you think about what you might pack, you work out how you are going to travel there… Do you see? When you are thinking about implementing change, this is the level of detail you need to be planning to. What do you want? How will it feel? Can you see the vision?
Have your support or resources available
This is a question I ask all of my clients during a session. What do you need from others to make this change occur? Sometimes, the answer is nothing; sometimes there is a need for emotional support from friends and family. Other times, you will need to recruit people to help you, or consider training courses, mentors, support groups etc. Resources can also be tangible things such as, phones, laptops and other equipment. Anticipating the resources you need will help to ensure your change is successful.
Believe you can make the change
Relying on willpower is a poor and unreliable strategy. Wanting to change and doing the actions to create this change are two different things. Belief is less about feeling confident and more about feeling prepared. Whatever change you want to make probably requires you to stop doing something you are already doing, or start doing something you aren’t doing now. Both of these things require you to either change a habit or create one. Knowing how to tackle the situations that threaten these new habits is part of being prepared. Later on in this series of blog posts, we will look specifically at habits.
Believe you are worth the change
Other posts in the series will look at skills that help you to change how you perceive both yourself and your abilities, but nothing changes the fact that we all are worth believing in.
We are a busy world, obsessed by our “busyness”. Technology helps us to believe we can fit more and more things into our day but really, despite everything, there are still 24hours in a day and we choose how those hours are spent, it’s all about priorities. The problem is that making time for you is frequently very low on the list. So how do we change this view? In her book “Thrive”, Arianna Huffington dedicates a whole chapter to what she terms “putting your own oxygen mask on first”. On a plane, the safety instructions state you must put your own mask on first, not the child sitting next to you. Why? Because you aren’t any help to anyone if you can’t breathe yourself. Have a think; when in your day can you find time to fit your own oxygen mask?
Making change requires energy. It also requires focus, positivity, belief and, most importantly, planning. It is hard and exhausting to make change if you have no appetite for it, so think about why you are making this change; do it for yourself, not others.
More action, less procrastinating!
I’m a planner at heart; nothing makes me happier than a lovely list, maybe even a little spreadsheet. I have to remind myself that whilst planning is essential, it doesn’t make anything happen. So if you are in the same boat as me, take action, and do something, even if it’s a small thing; take one step everyday towards your goal. It’s better than taking no steps at all.
Don’t be afraid of the unknown, the change may be good
It’s natural for people to see the risks associated with change and not it’s potential benefits, which sometimes leads to a “better the devil you know” attitude towards it. Whilst it is sensible to be able to see all possible outcomes to change, both positive and negative, it is really important to try to retain a balanced view. Sometimes people worry about making a change for the worse, but when you want to change, it is because you aren’t happy or satisfied with where you are, so the next change you make might not be exactly where you want to be but it will be one step closer.
Be clear about the decisions that need to be made
It’s so easy to become confused and overwhelmed when faced with decisions, to get bogged down with the details. Allow yourself some time each day to reflect and ask yourself, “what decision do I need to make to get me closer to my goal? What is my absolute priority?” It is easy to become distracted by other tasks and lose sight of what is your goal.
Which of these 10 things apply to you right now and what will you do differently tomorrow?
What to know how coaching can help? In your sessions with me I will help you to:
- Focus on what change you want to happen
- Understand what that journey looks like
- Identify what tools you might need and start the change process.
Sometimes you need a little help to get started.