We are creatures of habit.
We do things in our life the same way almost all the time. Think about your morning routine. You wake up, pee, wash your face, head out to make coffee, make the bed, change clothes, make breakfast, etc…
You have created a neural pathway in your brain for this. It’s like a super-highway. You used to think about doing it, you practiced it, then it became habit. Now you don’t have to consciously think about it, it’s part of your subconscious, and you run on autopilot.
But what if you are in your job, merrily going along, doing your job the best way you know how, and wham, your boss says you’ve got to do something different in order to meet some company goal.
Change means getting out of your comfort zone.
We humans don’t like doing that because, well, it’s uncomfortable.
I’ve got 3 tools you can use to make change easier.
1. Change your thoughts.
What thoughts are you having about this change?
Common examples include:
“I don’t want it”.
“It’s a pain in the butt”.
“Everything works fine now”.
There might even be fear involved.
“What if I make this change and things don’t work out for the better”?
“What if things get worse?”
Having these thoughts keeps us stuck. Or we move forward kicking and screaming.
We can change this brain response by building new neural pathways from the beginning.
When trying to make a change that’s new, something you’ve never done before, like learning a new software program on your computer, you’re a beginner again.
Start to think new, more helpful thoughts about doing something different.
What will be most important for you is that you think on purpose. You decide to think a thought that is real for you and one you can believe. Then when change gets hard, and it will, you have a response that puts you in the moving-forward-action space despite the challenge mode.
Like “this may be challenging, but I can do this”, or “I am willing to take small steps towards making this change with the help of my co-workers, friends, or significant other…”.
The more you practice thinking different thoughts, and practicing a new way of doing things, the more of a habit it becomes. It’s like learning to ride a bike. When you first started, you didn’t have a neural pathway for this in your brain.
You had to coordinate the whole moving forward/momentum thing, with the balance, and the pedaling. It took practice. Falling off your bike. Getting on again. Running into the neighbor's tree. Falling off. Making mistakes and trying again. Just like change.
3. Be Kind to Yourself
We tend to push ourselves to make change quickly, and perfectly, to get through it and back into our comfort zone. This rarely works. Usually because we beat up on ourselves mentally for being imperfect and not learning it quickly enough.
Please be kind to you. You are human. You will make mistakes. It will take time. Beating up on you won’t make the process any better. I promise.
You can manage change more easily and effectively.
Start with thinking on purpose, practice, and be kind to you. Before you know it, you’ll have created a new neural pathway and a new habit or routine that you won’t have to think about.
Now that’s change management.
Your Turn: I bet you've got an awesome change management strategy. I'd love it if you'd be willing to share. Leave a comment below, or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.
Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…