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Business Times Column #63

by Marcus

What Is Your Perception Of Change? 

Change occurs on a regular basis in life and business, whether we want it to or not. Economies change, business environments change, the weather changes, team dynamics change, relationships change, and so on. Life in general is about change, and if we resist change then we are limiting the potential of all that is available to us personally and professionally.

Why then, do we tend to resist change?

One reason we avoid change is because, in order to meet it in a positive and effective manner, we must change too. Moreover, we become comfortable in our current position, even if it is not working for us in the creation of our happiness and success. Another reason we resist change is that we have the tendency to focus on how hard change will be and the possible negative outcomes, which are typically assumptions based on our fear of the unknown.

Basically, we avoid change, because we focus on what we perceive as the downside of change. In our tendency to focus on the “difficulties” of change, rather than on the benefits of it, we stop ourselves from taking action. This must be overcome if your intention is to experience increased happiness and success, both personally and professionally.

Human beings are amazing in what they can accomplish once they open their minds to possibility, and then decide to take action. Change is much easier when we choose to see it in a positive light. As we embrace change, we alter our perception of it, from a “bad” thing, to a “positive” thing filled with opportunity.

If your business has stalled or is failing, if your relationships are not fulfilling, or if your health is declining, to name only a few, you can use your awareness of these facts to face the reality that while you might be “comfortable” in your current situation, your resistance to change is diminishing your happiness and success, a little more each day.

Self-honesty is a vital ingredient in choosing to make a change. As you become conscious of the negative feelings – the pain, and the undesirable results of your choice not to change – that discomfort helps propel you forward. We all reach a point where we “can’t take it anymore,” and getting real with yourself will help you reach this threshold sooner, saving precious time in creating a reality you do find pleasing.

One aspect of my coaching work is to show people how their current thought and behavior patterns are working against what they want, how they are actually working against themselves. Then, we explore new thoughts and behaviors that will allow them to change their reality in very positive ways. The focus here is on the actual reasons for making a change and the multitude of benefits for doing so.

One example of this would be, letting a team member go who is a good person, with all the skills necessary to do the job, but their attitude and behavior is damaging the corporate culture, customer relations and the bottom line. If, when you walk into your business, you feel an aversion to certain team members because of their negativity, then a change of some sort is in order.

This personnel situation is very common in the business world, and it becomes more severe the longer it is allowed to continue. Typically, the reason personnel changes are avoided is because of the time, effort and money involved in hiring and training a new person. There’s also the aspect of not wanting to have the tough talks that often accompany letting someone go.

As you turn your attention away from – what appears to be at first – the overwhelming effort involved in creating positive change, and instead focus on all the benefits of it, you will take on the change with an energy that makes the effort seem a lot less daunting than originally perceived. In other words, you eliminate a major barrier to change by focusing on how it will improve the situation.

Change is inevitable. Imagine how powerful and freeing it will be when you are no longer paralyzed by change.

If you are not pleased with the way things are going, then choose to make a change in you first – in how you perceive change. By doing so, you position yourself to take actions that will improve your situation and enhance your feelings of happiness and success.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.