By Scott Westerman
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” ~Heraclituse
It’s impossible to stay in your comfort zone long without getting uncomfortable. Watch a satellite image of the inexorable progression of the weather across our continent and you begin to get a sense for the truth in the old saying that the only constant is change. Resist it at your peril.
Chestnuts like, “When we stop learning we start rusting,” and “Those who thrive imagine the future and create it now,” remind us that there is huge opportunity for anyone who is willing to adopt an open mind, a broad field of view and a willingness to explore new pathways.
Kevin Michel, writing in Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams, says, “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.”
This is cause and effect in action and it can swing in either a positive or negative direction. That’s why deliberate thought about the intersection between purpose, passion and profession is a worthwhile exercise. But only if you are willing to put thought into action.
True transformation can only occur when our desire to change outweighs our natural tendency to stay in our comfort zone. Forward progress begins when you start making things happen and stop letting things happen.
Even as the world around us is continually changing, there is value in implementing a plan and staying the course, understanding that prevailing winds may try to knock you in a different direction. The wisdom lies in determining whether those winds of change are a sign to shift course to avoid a storm, or if they are simply the natural “resistance” that is constantly trying to talk us out of taking reasonable risks.
The voice of resistance can be a powerful inhibitor. It plays on our natural trepidation connected with change, challenges we may have with self esteem, and especially the fear of the unknown. It can whisper a steady stream of uncertainty and doubt. Understanding the distinction between resistance and rational prudence can mean the difference between getting stuck, getting burned and moving forward.
How will you know when it’s time for a change?
There is a dimension of inconvenience in everything we do. When it starts to feel all consuming, it’s time for recalibration. The challenge is that the shift is rarely dramatic. Dissatisfaction can inch its way into our daily journey so gradually that it’s unrecognizable. Like slowly progressing hypertension, we may not recognize it until we have a heart attack.
That’s why it’s good to give yourself periodic reality checks. Most of us do something like this when we write our annual New Year’s Resolutions. It’s why businesses schedule monthly reviews and quarterly reforests. High performers are always looking ahead.
Set aside some time for an honest appraisal of your current situation. How happy are you? How would the people you serve rate the quality of your service? What are you doing now to future-proof your career, or perhaps take some steps in the direction of reinvention?
After some candid self evaluation, plot your course corrections. Then act now like the person you hope to become. You will inevitably become that person.
When it is time for you to evolve, the Universe will make your current reality uncomfortable.
The trick is recognizing it and capitalizing on the exciting opportunity that always exists for anyone willing to think, plan and act.