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To Change or Not to Change? That is the Question – Business Times Column #109

by Marcus

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Change is a constant in life and business. It occurs on a regular basis whether we want it to or not. Business environments change, economies change, team dynamics change, relationships change, the weather changes and so on. Life in general is about change. But if we habitually resist change, we limit the potential of all that’s available to us personally and professionally.

One reason we avoid change is because we must change with it. We become comfortable in our current position, even if it’s not making us happy or successful. Another reason we resist change is that we have the tendency to focus on how hard change will be and possible negative outcomes that are typically assumptions based on our fear of the unknown.

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

If your business has stalled or is failing, if your relationships aren’t fulfilling or your health is declining, to name only a few, you can use your awareness of these facts to face reality. While you might be “comfortable” in your current situation, your resistance to change diminishes your happiness and success more and 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 undesirable results of your choice not to change — that discomfort propels 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 and resources in creating a reality you do find pleasing.

Human beings are amazing in what they can accomplish once they open their minds to possibility and decide to take action. Change is much easier to under take  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.

In my coaching and consulting work I show people how their current thought and behavior patterns work against what they want and how they’re actually working against themselves. We then explore new thoughts and behaviors that enable them to change their realities in very positive ways. The focus here is on the actual reasons for making a change and the multitude of benefits of doing so.

Consider, for example, the decision to let go a team member who possesses all the skills necessary to do the job, but whose attitude and behavior damages the corporate culture, customer relations and bottom line. If you feel an aversion to certain team members because of their negativity, then change is in order. This personnel situation is common in the business world and only becomes more severe the longer it continues.

Business owners and managers tend to avoid personnel changes 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 talk or confrontation that can accompany letting someone go. Fear of retribution, unemployment claims and being bad mouthed add to the reluctance.

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

If you’re not pleased with the way things are going in your business or your life, 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 happiness and success.

Is all change good, necessary or wise? Of course not. But change is inevitable. Imagine how powerful and freeing it would feel to not be paralyzed by the thought of change.

 
Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.

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

Access the article here.