“If you start to think the problem is ‘out there’, stop yourself. That thought is the problem.” – Stephen Covey
I spend the vast majority of my time helping people make change, whether it be in themselves or in their organizations. When I first entered into that arena, I had some preconceived ideas about why so many people struggled with change, why so many organizations fail when trying to make change, etc. I thought they maybe didn’t have enough vision, or enough passion, or weren’t frustrated enough with the status quo, or any number of things.
Some of those are or may be relevant, but one of the biggest problems wasn’t on the list. It didn’t take long, though, before it became clear: negative beliefs about change and about ourselves and our environments hold back more organizations than almost anything else.
I’ve lost track of how often I’ve had a conversation with a client or potential client and within 30 seconds they’ve already listed all the reasons why this change won’t work, or why they can’t control anything about their business, or why everything that’s wrong is somebody else’s fault and they have no control over it. And when you believe you can’t have an impact, you won’t. You’ll give up, you’ll find reasons not to try at all, and you’ll sabotage yourself until you’re proven right.
Here’s a challenge: This week, listen to how you and the others in your organization talk about change. Is it about how you’re going to respond to challenges, or how you’re going to solve problems, or how you’re going to take advantage of opportunities? Or is it about how this is happening to us, or somebody else did something to us, or somebody else’s bad behavior caused our problems? Tell me the answer and I’ll tell you how change is probably going to go for you.
What do you believe? Are you getting ready to make the changes you need to make in your business? Or are you getting ready to make excuses?