Change – easy when you know how!

One of the books I’ve ben reading recently is a book entitled Switch – How to change things when change is hard by Chip and Dan Heath. In this book, the writers show that there are 2 main reasons for individuals being resistant to change: What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity and what looks like laziness is often exhaustion.

Getting clarity in an aspect of our life is an easy thing to do – it is the way in which we think that creates complexity. How can we possibly see our way clear when we create so many barriers. Think of all the problems that we see when we plan something – particular, when that something is a change that we don’t really want to make. A couple of years ago, I used an exercise to demonstrate our views on change. 2 people would face each other and in 20 seconds note how and what each other was wearing. They would then turn around back to back and in 30 seconds change 5 things about their appearance and then turn back facing each other. They would then see if they could spot those changes, the exercise was repeated again with another 5 things being changed about their appearance – in the final analysis, the winner was the one who spotted all 10. Now the point of the exercise was not spotting the changes but rather what happened next. At the end of the exercise, I asked everyone to sit down and immediately everyone, without exception, would change their appearance back to how it was at the start of the exercise. The instruction was “Please take your seats” not “Please change back and take your seats” – when I asked the delegates why they had changed back, most said it was because they felt uncomfortable, or looked silly and some even said why wouldn’t they change back because it was normal. There is the challenge for us: we agree to make some changes, and because we are not clear on our outcomes, at the first given opportunity we revert back to our old way of being. Clarity is key. Try these questions to help you start to get clarity:

  1. What is it that I am specifically looking for?
  2. On a scale of 1 – 10, where do I currently grade myself in my levels of committment to the change?
  3. What would it mean to me if I didn’t get what I am specifically looking for?
  4. What is it going to cost me to get what I am specifically looking for?
  5. What am I going to gain by choosing to receive what I am specifically looking for?
  6. What have I specifically got to do to get what I am looking for?

You can see the pattern in the questions – specifically!! It is that word that clarity can be obtained. When we feel lazy (or exhausted) then it is because the vision that we have for our future is vague and this means that the change that we need to make is too great and this means that we start to do something and eventually stop doing it – remember the diet that you started with all those great intentions? Maybe, a more defined outcome would have helped you stay on the diet longer?

So, as we all know, fear is the main driver for preventing us from achieving amazing things. Just know, that you have access to all the inner resources that you need. You are an incredible person and with clarity of direction, you can open up incredible lines of energy and achieve whatever you want.

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