Warning: The success of your career, business, and personal life is at needless risk if you resist abandoning what doesn't work in order to embrace what does.
The choice, made knowingly or not, to protect the status quo rather than engage in what is new or different is a powerful success blocker to achieving personal or business success.
It's safe to say you've seen more than your fair share of change with varying degrees of successful outcomes. Some change initiatives you know you've managed quite well and some, well, in retrospect you now suspect you and others might have managed just a little better. With the roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs that non-stop change can bring, even when normally energized by change, one can become numb and cease to respond to potential change value and opportunities. This does not have to be!
With the over-the-top pace and complexity of change in our business environment, it's no wonder individuals and organizations are hunkering down and playing it safe in order to protect themselves and stay below the radar. For sure, no one wants to get shot in the line of fire of change issues and directives. So here's a heads up: You know you've been caught in this change dynamic of hunkering down and protecting the status quo when your sole goal every day is to leave work at the end of the day with the same job you had at the beginning of the day. Yes, you might think, and rightfully so, "Yes, I kept my job. It was a successful day!"
Although this may seem a sensible strategy, it may not be your best career strategy. If your thoughts and behaviors are focused strictly on protecting the status quo, you may be left with little mental and emotional energy for seeking new roles, responsibilities, skills, or relationships. The consequences? You could be ignoring situations and opportunities that would better protect and enhance your employability and organization market value.
Fewer people than ever are feeling stalwart enough to step into the ambiguity of change to seek and seize new opportunities for themselves and their organizations. And that is exactly what is required in order to build sustainable success, especially in light of today's business environment.
So it's wise, change weary or not, to keep your curiosity and imagination for change opportunities fully engaged. Not liking an organization change is not only irrelevant, but the mental and emotional stress can be a waste of your valuable energy.
What is a good use of your energy and time is choosing to be engaged and abandon what doesn't work now because of a change and embrace what does. For sustained success—this is a wise career strategy.
Here are some SuccessMapping tips to help you and your workforce achieve more individual and organization potential:
- Map a personal success strategy. Start by asking yourself, "What do I want to protect and expand that has value for me, and what do I want to change that doesn't?" Then write a statement that declares your intention to focus your energy of thoughts and actions on achieving it. You now have an intention statement that will act as your personal North Star to achieve success.
- Move forward without delay by focusing on why what you want to achieve has value, then how and what you need to do next.
- Recognize when a change dynamic of grieving for the old, or denying needing to engage in the new, is causing problematic behavior, thoughts, or feelings, and ask yourself: "Is this helping me or hindering me from being or doing what I want?"
- You can get stuck by not being willing to be or do different to have what you want. If you want to be stuck, OK, be stuck. Just set a time limit on how long you plan on being stuck. The shorter the better for you. Remember you are in control of how you choose to respond to change!
- Immediately engage: whether it's new responsibilities, skills, or relationships—do not delay. Seek goal-relevant situations and opportunities that will help you more easily achieve your intention statement; then engage, learn, and find value until the new becomes the norm.
- Re-frame preventing beliefs or thoughts to those that will enable your success. When thinking of your intention statement and what you want to achieve, ask yourself, "Do my thoughts and beliefs enable me or prevent me from achieving an important life goal?" Identify and cancel any preventing, negative thought by re-framing it to an enabling, positive thought.
- Abandon a focus on the past. It may have served you then, but if it doesn't serve you now, let it go. This is why it's called the "past." Generate excitement for the new possibilities—even while missing the old, and before you realize the benefits of the new. This has huge value for your energy and what you want to next achieve!
- As you abandon what doesn't work in your career, business, or personal life, and begin to embrace what does, change will occur. So set milestones to celebrate your successes as you transit from the old to the new—it's fun and it works!
Arlene Johnson is founder and president of Sinequanon Group, Inc., a global consultancy specializing in executive leadership, change, and sales performance. Johnson is author of the new book "Successmapping: Achieve What You Want...Right Now! Learn more about how to create your Success Map at www.successmapping.com or e-mail Johnson at email@example.com