Learning to Embrace Change

Learning to Embrace Change

It’s human nature to seek out behaviors and paths where we find comfort, safety and routine. And once those routines are set, it can be very difficult to willfully change our ways. It’s a proven fact of human psychology: change causes anxiety. And anxiety causes us to resist new behaviors and maintain the safety of the ‘status quo’.

But here’s another unavoidable fact about change: it’s absolutely required for better results regardless of how you define them. When seeking goals in our personal or professional lives, changing our comfortable daily practices is a necessary but often daunting task. Learn to embrace change!

Growth and expansion require a willingness to change our habits. To replace what got us here with what’s needed to get us somewhere else. And although replacing comfortable habits may make us uncertain initially, we can counteract this unsettled feeling by being more conscious of the hundreds of changes we already make every day – without even thinking about them. Examples include:

Learning to Embrace Change

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• How you started a conversation this morning
• What you ordered for lunch
• The specific content of dozens of emails you send each day
• What you put in the cart at the grocery store
• Which TV channel you selected last evening
• What coat or shoes you’ll wear tomorrow depending on the weather forecast

These are just a few examples of our willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and our ‘mood of the moment’. Simple examples, to be sure. But they illustrate our pre-disposition to minor course corrections throughout our daily business and personal lives.

Now let’s jump to larger-scale habit changes needed to advance towards goals. If you’re looking to be more open to the possibilities that life provides, there are a few important factors that must be actively managed. Here are three.

• Plain Old Fear. Fear can be a powerful motivating force, but it can also be a major reason why we resist dropping habits that block our success. Change means embracing some uncertainty about outcomes, and uncertainty brings risk. Our fears instinctively kick in to protect us in uncertain situations. Acknowledging that fear is entering into our decision-making allows us to more effectively evaluate alternatives and choose a course of action.

Here’s a suggestion to help counteract fear. Take daily small steps. A sustained effort of small daily steps reduces anxiety. This approach allows us to evaluate results and adapt our approach easily. Keep your eye on the horizon- view of your goal. Know where you are ultimately headed. But take small steps initially to minimize fear-triggering uncertainty of change.

• Mental Roadblocks. We all give ourselves excuses for avoiding change. We doubt our abilities, question the likelihood of success, and believe we are generally fine with where we are today. Well, ‘Fine’ is the enemy of ‘Better’. ‘Comfortable’ is the roadblock to ‘Excited’ and ‘Fulfilled’. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, or questioning your comfort levels, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that overcoming our personal and professional mental roadblocks allows us to see opportunity in every change, and remain open to new forms of success.

• Our Current Reality. We’ll all guilty of settling for the comfort and security of where we are right now. Existing habits have produced reasonable results with manageable risk. But that’s not a formula for goal achievement. Successful people who achieve their goals recognize that where they are right now – their current reality – is a great foundation to jump off to even greater heights. Our past is our past: no more, no less. Our past got us to our present, and our present is the springboard to our future. High achievers like you need to catch your breath, and then step up beyond the accomplishments of now to your goals of the future.

Once we realize change includes a heavy dose of opportunity for growth, it becomes easier to embrace change as something we must have to move forward, accomplish our dreams and exceed our goals.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

personal network

How to Build Up Your Personal Network

Whether you’re unemployed, looking to move up the food chain in your office, or own your own business, it’s important to continually work on building your personal network. Having a large network will open the doors to many different opportunities in the business world.

Here are some simple ways that you can more effectively build up your personal and personal network:

  • Twitter, Facebook, and Other Social Media Tools. By now, pretty much everyone in business knows the benefit to having an active social media presence. Social media is an efficient way to interact with thought personal networkleaders, inform others of your capabilities, and establish yourself as an expert. Build lists of influential people in your industry and profession – and interact with them. ‘Like’ their posts, comment on their blogs, ask questions and offer solutions. Be mindful that these tools can be suck up an enormous amount of your valuable time, so be efficient. Limit your time, focus your efforts, and move on to other equally valuable networking opportunities.
  • Find online groups. It’s amazing how many professionals join social networks like LinkedIn and don’t make use of the groups features. Facebook and LinkedIn in particular have specialty groups for just about every industry or profession specifically designed for idea sharing and networking. Active participation in these groups is an efficient way to both find new people to follow and network with and to build your own reputation as an expert in your field. As appropriate, offer your assistance and expertise to others. Most will reciprocate and willingly help you as well.
  • Attend meet ups. Keep an eye on those online groups for information about meet ups, as well as websites like meetup.com. You can find meet ups for basically any type of business interest, or organize your own. These meet ups are great networking opportunities.
  • Seek out new people at social events. Even if you’re not talking business at social gatherings, you never know when someone new you meet will need assistance with something related to your business or personal skills. Be open and friendly with everyone you meet, and make sure you’re approachable. If you sense a business opportunity, politely express your interest in following-up later at a more appropriate time.

Block out a few minutes every day for proactive networking. Make and pursue professional connections whenever you have the chance. With each new connection, you increase your own probability of finding success.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”