We’re always hearing ‘sound bites’ about the importance of focusing on what we want rather than what we don’t want. It’s an obvious message albeit perhaps not so easy to do.
It’s natural to become distracted by the thoughts and actions of others; and the impact of this can be quite damaging to our own aspirations. For one, it takes up a lot of energy to continuously process the concerns and views of others; and that can result in second guessing ourselves about the change we say we want to make. It takes a concerted effort to refocus on our original intention and outcome without the need to justify our position.
This is particularly interesting when we think of it within the context of managing personal change as opposed to company-wide change which impacts on many other people. So, let’s think about advice we might be offered to make the process of change management easier; and apply it to the process of personal change:
TALK ABOUT IT: I agree that communication is key to the widespread acceptance of change and yet; when we are talking about it from a personal perspective I’ve found that telling everyone can come back to bite you. Not from any conscious malintent; simply because our loved ones are uncomfortable with change and often express their concern as ‘I wouldn’t do that’.
STAND YOUR GROUND: Once you’ve decided to make a personal change, it’s important to stick with the core of your plan; to ignore any naysayers and to keep moving forward towards your goal. When you haven’t got the weight of company expectation behind you it is easier to let yourself off the hook. We have to be aware of that and manage it.
FOCUS ON THE OUTCOME: This is less easy to do when the change you are making is personal. Change can be painful at first and certainly scary; so keep reminding yourself that the end result is worth all the effort.
In summary, experience has taught me that making personal change is quite different from managing change that directly involves others. When you make a decision to alter something in your own life, my advice would be to keep your own counsel, consistently check that your thoughts and actions are in line with your intended outcome and to decide that the benefits of making the change far outweigh the discomfort.
I can feel the excitement of a change coming on; can you?