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Leading Change is Hard (Until You Address This One Thing)


You've heard it many times: “People resist change.”  Do they?

Give somebody one million dollars and they’re not going to hesitate to make changes.  

If there was a magic pill that was scientifically proven to cause weight loss safely, people would buy it off the shelves faster than toilet paper in Corona 2020.

People love the idea of change, especially when it’s something they know they want in their lives.  But yet they still don’t pursue it.  Why not?

It’s not change that people are resisting, it’s the thought of losing what they have.  

It’s only normal, when contemplating a change, to cling to what you know and what you already have.  Even though it’s not what you want--it’s familiar.  

At times guilt will arise:  “I should be grateful for what I have.” (especially considering the world today)

If not guilt, then it’s worry and fear that it could be worse.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “the devil you know is better than, the devil you don’t.”


Science Shows You're Biased

As human beings, we know that we give more weight to what we perceive as bad or what might go wrong.  Social Psychologist, Roy Baumeister, conducted a study showing that our perceived bad is stronger than our good.

No wonder people are unable to create the changes they want in their lives and their businesses.  This negativity bias keeps us stuck and prevents us from tapping into greater possibilities.

The busy executive knows they need to slow down and invest in their health, their family, their relationships--but they don’t.

A manager will tolerate an under-performing employee for years.

The small-business owner will continue “doing it all”, unable to let go and give more ownership to his or her team.  

Each one of them can make a case for why now isn’t the right time. 

There’s too much going on right now to slow down.  I can’t let the under-performer go with everything going on right now.  I can’t afford a mistake or the loss of a customer. Letting go and delegating more decision making responsibility to my team just feels unrealistic.

Notice how in every example, when it comes time to contemplate change, there’s a bias toward what could go wrong. 

What is your negativity bias costing you?  What are the true long-term costs of not making a change?  What might it be worth to you if you were to make the change that you’ve been avoiding...what’s the opportunity?


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Just pause here!  Notice the stories you might be telling yourself as to why change just isn’t possible right now for you?  If it were possible, what steps would you begin to take?

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Probability of What Might Happen and The Possibilities

The bad that you think could happen, how probable is it?  Instead of asking could this or that happen, ask how probable is it to happen?

Yes, the worst could happen, but what about the possibilities? 

What are you leaving on the table or giving up because you’re unwilling to step out into the land of uncertainty, to live, to play full out, and just go for it!

The key to lasting change is your own awareness of the stories you’re telling yourself. 

Are the stories serving you? Or are you waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop, unwilling to pursue what’s possible? 

What would be different if you brought your negativity bias into the light?  Rather than letting it control your choices, you saw it for what it is, an ancient survival mechanism that is designed to keep you small, always playing it safe. 

Is that really who you are and what you want?

As your awareness rises, you are free to choose more of what you want in your life instead of avoiding what you don’t.  

There’s a big difference between playing to win and play to not lose.  What would it look like for you to play full out! 

You’re either growing or dying.  So again I ask, what are the costs of clinging to the status quo?

What if you were to focus on what you want to create, setting your intentions on the small incremental steps that’ll close the gap between where you are and where you desire to go? 

It’s a journey.  As entrepreneur John Shedd once said:  “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for.”