Are you flexible during times of change or do you dig in your heels and stay stuck in your old ways? While there are many times when, as an entrepreneur, being fixed and firm, and sticking with your original goals and daily schedule is the key to moving forward, there are other times when change is necessary and resisting will only serve to hold you back like trying to sprint wearing concrete boots.
We know this intellectually, and yet, so often when confronted with change, we find ourselves paralyzed like a deer in the headlights, stuck in resistance. This was the case for me when I was forced to change the spot where I recorded my video blogs because of our rather ambitious home renovation. I found myself focusing on the loss of my favorite spot and unwilling to find a new one to film from.
(Be sure to watch the video to get a look at my new spot!)
This reminded me of a show my son has me watching, The Big Bang Theory. One of the main characters, Sheldon, is the classic example of insisting on sameness and abhorrently resisting change. Sheldon has a spot on the couch that he has deemed ‘his spot’ and gets very upset if anyone else sits in HIS spot. Ever.
How we approach the world is somewhat a reflection of personality style and core values. Loving sameness and routine is just as much a great quality as being flexible and flying by the seat of your pants. It’s how we are and there is nothing wrong with being one way or another, until it gets in the way of what you ultimately want to achieve. Then it’s a big problem.
Interesting enough, most of the top leaders in the world have a fixed and firm structure. It’s a quality that has been shown to really propel them forward. They are structured right down to the small details, like what time they wake up and exactly what they do during the day.
It creates a predictability that allows them to really focus on success. The reason is their mind knows what to expect and everyone around them knows what to expect because they’ve made these implicit agreements through their consistent action. With this consistency, they can really fill their day with productive time and eliminate a lot of the noise and distraction.
So when change is necessary, when flexibility is the only way out that will allow you to move forward, staying stuck in your firm and fixed ways is just not going to cut it. The consequence of needing to be right about how it was is a futile merry-go-round of frustration and despair.
Learning to Adapt to Change and Be Flexible:
Know your purpose! Be clear and confident in your ultimate direction and know that giving in to change in this instance will ultimately serve your end-purpose better in the future.
Challenge yourself to see the win in the change and new direction. Find at least 3 things that are great about it you can really hang on to. Need help? Ask your support network to brainstorm some with you if you are really drawing a blank.
Learn to let go when change is necessary to move forward. Yes, it’s maybe not the exact way you would like it to happen, but for the time being, it’s necessary. Sometimes a side step, or a step back is the best things that will ever happen along your journey!
Pick the battles worth fighting for wisely. This is particularly true when dealing with members of your team who maybe want to do things a little bit differently. Knowing when you to let them run with something and allow it to blossom, and when to hang on tightly to your original vision is key for any great leader.
Recognize resistance patterns before they have you stuck so firmly that you lose all your momentum. What is your personal brand of ‘throwing a temper tantrum’? Is it ice cream and chocolate, Facebook and video games, or withdrawing from business and personal relationships?
Look to the past for reassurance. What has happened in the past when you had to adapt or make change? Is there at least one example where the situation worked out well? How could you integrate some of that mindset into the present and help you through this situation?
Are you feeling derailed by change and need help adapting? Do you need to change and find a new and better direction, you just don’t know where to start? Become a champion of change by scheduling your personal coaching session today!