“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.” ~Robert E. Quinn
In life and in business change is inevitable. You need to change in order to grow. You can’t grow if you just stay where you are. You can’t grow if you don’t change the way you think and act. In fact, change is a continuous process. It never ends. The moment you stop changing, you stop growing.
Here are 10 tips to apply in order to change your life and your business:
1. Slow down. You need time to think and reflect. If you are always busy, you won’t have
the time to think about your life; personally and professionally, let alone taking the action to change it. You won’t have the room to apply the tips below. So slow down and make time for change. Slow down and enjoy the ride. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going, where you’ve been and why.
2. Be willing to change. Willingness is essential. If you aren’t willing to change, then nothing in this world can make you do so. To build the willingness to change, first you should realize that anything can be better than it is now. No matter how good something is, it can always be improved. On the other hand, don’t feel hopeless if something doesn’t seem good right now. You can always change your it for the better.
3. Accept responsibility. Accepting responsibility is a must. Don’t blame other people for the bad things that happen. Don’t blame your family, friends, boss, or the economy. Whether your circumstances improve or decline mostly depends on you and you alone. Once you take the responsibility, real change is within your reach.
“We immediately become more effective when we decide to change ourselves rather than asking things to change for us.” ~ Stephen Covey
4. Find your deepest values. Deep down, there are some principles that you know are true. Take the time to find them. These are the values you need to align yourself with. Find them and remind yourself constantly about them.
5. Find your cause. Change is not easy because there is inertia you need to overcome. Just like a space shuttle needs a powerful rocket to overcome the Earth’s gravity, you also need a powerful source of energy to overcome the inertia to change. Your cause is the source of energy you need. Your cause can give you the strength to overcome the inertia.
6. Replace limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs. Limiting beliefs are among the biggest obstacles that hinder you from making change. You need to identify them before you can effectively handle them. To identify your limiting beliefs, observe your mind for thoughts that contain phrases like:
“I can’t …”
“I won’t be able to …”
“I will always be …”
“There is no way …”
Whenever you find one, write it down. After some time, look at your list. These are your limiting beliefs. After identifying your limiting beliefs, you need to replace them with empowering beliefs. Write positive statements that counter the negative ones you wrote before and make positive affirmations using those statements. Do it whenever you realize that a limiting belief is at work.
7. Replace bad habits with positive habits. Besides identifying limiting beliefs, you should also identify bad habits you have. Are there habits that drag you down? Are there habits that you know you need to break? List them all. Then, rather than focusing on breaking those habits, focus on creating new positive habits that replace them.
8. Find a mentor or coach. Finding a mentor or coach can greatly help you improve. A mentor/coach will give you advice on what to do in certain situations and can warn you about possible pitfalls in your path. Without a mentor, most likely you will have to learn many lessons the hard way. Having a mentor will save you serious amount of time.
9. Have the right expectation. Having the right expectation from the beginning is important. Otherwise, it’s easy for you to be discouraged when things don’t go as expected. Change takes time, especially if you want the change to last. Having the right expectation prepares you to be persistent in difficult times.
10. Maintain the momentum. The most difficult part is always the beginning. Once you go through it, things will become easier if you maintain the momentum. Just think about pushing a car. The most difficult part is getting the car to start moving. Once it’s moving, pushing it will be easy as long as you don’t let it stop again.
Change is a slow process that should keep you improving day by day.
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
~ James Belasco and Ralph Stayer,Flight of the Buffalo (1994)