How to Guide Your Change

“Change is the only constant in life” Heraclitus.
Change
Then why are we so afraid of it?

In the post Organizational change I have written that employees, others as well, perceive stability as security and therefore normally oppose changes. Such perceptions present difficulties or even block a change.

Where, then, is the exit door to ‘changing’ that?

Let’s start with a simple question: what do I want to be?

The answer does not lay within New Year’s resolutions where we write down our wishes and intentions on a piece of paper, store it in a bottle and launch it to sea, hoping it will manifest by itself! No. The Universe isn’t going to make this happen. You are the only one to do it!

New Year’s
So, how then?

First we have to have a will to make a daily change: one change at a time. Stay motivated and focused. Too easy or too hard?

People expect and think that the goal of life is perfection (see: Leadership and perfectionism). It is not! The goal of life is the life itself. Otherwise we all aim for a death.

DaoismTo desire to change we should aim in doing it as good as we can at the moment of change. Good at something  accepting, with no sorrow, the various little imperfections we still (may) have. With Chinese Daoism (see: Dào (Dao, Tao) – the Way) the path is simply ‘accepting yourself’. Live life and discover who you are and then by small changes you will become what you want to be. Nevertheless our nature is ever changing however, on the other hand is always the same.

Do the first small changes at the same time each day. Why? Human brain is a complex pattern-recognition system. It was developed to help us survive and reproduce. Therefore, patterns were recognized by evolution as a help to us to react properly to a new stimulus - stimulus that kept us alive long enough to have as many kids as possible (as for genes are concerned explained in ‘The selfish gene’ by Richard Dawkins).

Repeating each day helps us to test, to break our old patterns and build new habits around them, constantly, because that’s how they change. If we start to live our life differently on new patterns at the beginning we will seem kind of unbalanced and with no focus. It is because we are losing some ‘safe’ environment or daily routines.

I know the feeling. It is the fear and it is a problem. A fear of building new habits, new ways of doing things that, with a change, also need to be done differently whether we like it or not. But this is a challenge of our first step toward accepting change.

While we are building new habits we could be hundred percent certain that we will be failing. It won’t be just a few times, but often. It is due to doing new things differently and new things are by definition hard to do. But be sure to continue. The point is to never look back at past failures that (may) scare us.

Be aware of those around you unwilling to accept you for your true (new) nature. Leave them behind and let them be themselves while you remain yourself. Take your time, relax and just explore. In Daoism there are no plans. In Daoism you follow your gut feelings and trust your instincts.

In training a dog when we constantly repeat the same pattern, the dog will learn the lesson but won’t be doing it if it is out of a standard pattern. That is why we train a dog in different places under different situations.

The ability to act is something we are born with. To act is to change. Change is a skill we can learn– as long as we have the guts to actually do it.

Be accountable for doing it and use consequences to praise small change. Visualize the success!
Great leaders and successful people of past and current times do it all the time. That is why they are what they are.

Why then we all could not manage to do it, too?

3 comments:

  1. "Be aware of those around you unwilling to accept you for your true (new) nature. Leave them behind and let them be themselves while you remain yourself."
    This is very well said.

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    1. Thank you Milan Grković for your supportive comment.

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