Everyone it seems, from business pundits, book authors and your spouse,
knows that change is important in our lives. We all need to change,
sometimes on a daily basis, in order to address the pressing issues
of life and work. No matter how important we might see change, though,
change is tough. Our own innate sense that "change=danger" triggers
feelings of fear from deep within our usually rational mind. This fear
can cause us to avoid the very changes that would most improve our
lives. Change can feel overwhelming and can paralyze us in place, unable
to make any move in any direction. One way of breaking through this
paralysis, though, is to break our changes into smaller, manageable
parts, much as you should do with any project.
When we look at our lives we often only see the huge projects that
loom before us. We need to find a house, or a school for our children,
a new job, or a new relationship. The fact is, you can't "do" any
of these things. They are simply too huge a concept to conceive. This
is where we set ourselves up for failure. We can't find a handle to
grasp these projects, so we don't make any progress on them at all.
We can't find a way in, so we sit outside the door, wondering what
to do next.
The next step, of course, is breaking them down into smaller parts
that we can handle. If we are looking for a new house, attack the question
of where you might like to live first. Searching for a new job? You
need to do some thinking about what type of work you most enjoy. Every
change, every project, every task, has some similar entry point. If
you want to make any progress at all, you have to find this "handle" that
allows you to grasp the problem. Only then can you start to turn it
over in your mind.
The Change Challenge
We all have something that we want or need to change in our life
-- something that has been weighing on our mind for weeks, months
Let's take the month of May -- a typical time of growth due to the
sense of Springtime opportunity -- and focus on change. Start thinking
today about one major change you need to make, in your life or your
work, and focus on making that change a reality. This need not be
some dramatic, outward, change. Sometimes, changing our own internal
can be one of the most important changes. Now, take a few moments
away from work friends and family and think about your change.
change directly and don't be afraid. You may have been unable to
address this change in the past, but today you are going to find
a way forward.
Look for ways to break down the change into smaller, more manageable,
parts, just as I discussed above. Get it down to one or two physical
actions that you can take, today. For example, maybe you need to call
someone for more information. Perhaps you need to research property
values or other information about a neighborhood you drove through
the other day. There is no need to try and think about the whole project.
Instead, you want to reduce this big change down to a series of cranks
you can (somewhat) mindlessly turn. David Allen, author of Getting
Things Done, calls this "widget cranking mode." You don't
concern yourself with the overwhelming thoughts and actions, you reduce
the project to a series of "widgets" you can crank that,
almost miraculously, move you forward on a particular project.
Do you need help with your change? Join myself and other Career Opportunities
readers/listeners on the Career Opportunities Forums at http://forums.friendsintech.com/ . Tell us about the change project that is giving you the most trouble.
Together, we can help everyone find a way to face the challenge of
change that is directly effecting their lives.
Take the Change Challenge this month and find a way to move forward
in your life and career. We all have some change that we need to
face. Perhaps together we can find a way to move everyone forward,
step at a time.
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