written by Courtney Lynch

Change is Inevitable.  Help it By Helping You.

I have a client company that is working very hard to elevate their performance in the midst of a chaotic time for their industry.  Becoming more nimble and results-oriented is imperative for them.  One leader shared that in the past the company has built processes for the people they have, versus understanding what the best process is and implementing it well.  To succeed, they must be disruptive internally and let go of legacy thinking.  What my client is doing organizationally is important for all of us to do personally.

It’s very difficult to disrupt yourself.  As humans we get quite comfortable.  Our brains are hard-wired to protect us from danger.  That often shows up as instructing us to avoid new ways of doing what we do or identifying what we seek.  It’s easy to become change resistant even though change is constant.  The best leaders move through challenge and change, rather than fight, flight or freeze in the face of it.

Here are three questions that help you disrupt yourself and get out of your own way.  Ask them in the context of any challenge you’re facing:

1.  What have you told yourself you can’t do, can’t stop or can’t change?  Start there.  Imagine what you could do differently if you had no “have-to-do’s.”  These questions help you challenge assumptions about what you must do.  If you want to be better, you have to let go of old norms, even if they have become powerful habits and breaking them seems difficult or irresponsible.

2.  Where do you want to be?  Chances are, where you are heading now is different from where you wanted to be in the past.  Why?  Because you’ve progressed in knowledge, results and perspective.  You’re growing and evolving all the time.  Give yourself permission to let go of old goals that aren’t relevant to the direction you’re moving towards today.  Recommit yourself to the plans you want to achieve that still matter or have the confidence to voice new pursuits that you’ve discovered from growth.

3.  How do I do this now?  This is the question my client is working hard to answer.  You can’t achieve new success by using old processes.  Hold yourself accountable to finding new pathways towards new results.  We change when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.  Pay close attention to what you’ll lose if you don’t take initiative to evolve.

Leaders don’t waste time fighting to stay the same.  Keep moving through challenge and change.

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