“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson
I spend a most of my time working with people and organizations trying to help them make change. Our goal is to be the single biggest factor in our clients’ ability to make change. And most people recognize the need for it.
What most people don’t (won’t?) recognize is the amount of work that’s involved in change. I hear people say they did everything they could have done, but because something happened that they couldn’t control, things just didn’t work out. The government did something, our competitors did something, our people did something, etc. In other words, don’t blame me, we just had some bad luck.
In reality, that’s usually a lie people tell themselves so they don’t have to admit they either a) didn’t know how to make the change they wanted, or b) simply didn’t do what was necessary to make it happen. Regarding a), there is science behind successful change, proven processes and factors and methodologies that can help drive it, make it more likely. And unfortunately not everybody is familiar with those, so they end up just swinging wildly hoping to hit something that works.
Just as often though, people really aren’t willing to put the effort and sacrifice into making successful change. Even if they know the science, they still have to work to implement it. They still have to work to make sure they and their business are ready for change, that they’re capable of making change, that their beliefs are right, etc. That doesn’t just happen, there’s no magic formula, there’s no pill to take, there’s no book to read that by itself puts you on the right path. At some point you have to actually do the work.
So do some self-analysis. It’s not easy, but ask yourself why you’ve failed at change in the past. Was it really because some outside thing happened? Or was it your own failure to do the things that needed to be done? I don’t just mean that you didn’t put in the effort, although that happens more than we’d like to admit. I mean, did you make the tough decisions, have the tough conversations, get outside your comfort zone regularly enough to make change happen? Unfortunately, for too many people, the answer is usually a resounding “No”.
So don’t do it that way anymore. Stop sabotaging yourself. Stop creating an environment where failure is really the only possible outcome. It’s not about luck. It’s not about some outside force that forbids your success. It’s about you, and what you’re willing to do. So do it now.