Nobody said change was easy. That’s why most people don’t do it. But there is a deeper reason behind why it is hard that if understood, will lead you to take action that will bring you new habits and sustainable results.
When you evolve and grow as a person you start with: 1) VALUES which create 2) ATTITUDES which create 3) BEHAVIORS. For example, when you were a young child you valued having friends, trusted all people and behaved openly. Then through some unpleasant experiences on the playground you learned that not everyone is trustworthy on the same level so
you behaved by choosing friends that were consistently nice to you.
Here is a career example: You value your job so your attitude is that you want your boss to notice you in order to advance so you behave by working long hours to be noticed.
When you want to change your internal culture the process must move in reverse, which is unnatural, making it much more difficult. You must start with: 1) NEW BEHAVIORS which will create 2) NEW ATTITUDES which will create 3) NEW VALUES.
Career example: You don’t want to work long hours anymore because it has taken a toll on your family so you want to change your internal culture by starting with a behavior. You will stop working longer and begin working SMARTer. You will change your behavior by setting SMART weekly goals that are broken down into SMART daily goals. Remember SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented and Time Framed. Don’t
worry about changing your attitude and values – that will happen on its own. You will find that your attitude will change when your boss notices how your own self discipline has made you more productive – a smart adjustment on your part without any coaching. You start to help colleagues with goal setting and you begin to value how goal setting is not only a precursor to
achievement but also to leadership and a better quality of life.
If you want to change – just act. Do something differently. Don’t worry about the feelings behind it. They will follow.
In the words of Henry Ford…
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
“Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain
amount of scratching around for what it gets.”
“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what
can’t be done.”
“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.”
There are a couple of key factors that get in the way of change. Watch out for them because they will become excuses that will lead to self-paralysis.
These key Leadership Obstructers are:
1) Guilt and Worry We guilt about the past and worry about the future. Both are useless emotions because we can’t change the past and worrying never changed the future for anybody. Action and goal setting change the future.
2) Blame and Complain We blame and complain about whatever we can so as not to take responsibility for changing behaviors. It’s easier being a victim.
Did any of the above Leadership Obstructers ever make you happier or did they simply take you farther away from a healthy life balance? What behaviors will you change to move your life forward? Act! Start now!
Mary Lee Gannon is a leadership and productivity expert as well as author of “Starting Over – 25 Rules When You’ve Bottomed Out.” She went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children to divorce, poverty and then on to become a president and CEO. Visit her web site at www.StartingOverNow.com