Staying positive, taking steps to move forward during inconstant times – where each day requires you – once again – to adapt in some new way – can bring on insecurity and hesitance. You’re not alone if you feel this way.
Frustrating, to say the least, this requirement to continue to modify your life, career or your business daily – can make you think twice, even three times – when considering the possibility of re-using even those solid ideas you had or decisions you previously made. However, in todays evolving world each of us, literally, has no choice but to adjust – in some way – to the ‘new normal’. It could possibly require us to redesign our lives, career or business in order to transition into something which will suit us even better and effectively sustain us.
Avoiding change is futile. And the more we resist it the more difficult life becomes. “Change is the law of life”, John F. Kennedy.
While life may return to what we previously experienced, and believed ‘normal’, the fact is to progress – at this moment – requires embracing these changes – this ‘new normal’.
On the other hand, you may decide hunkering down and waiting out the storm is best; unfortunately there’s no way to know how long the current ‘storm’ will last. Without adopting, somewhat, you may end up being sucked under, finding it far more difficult to push forward – to gain momentum – once things have settled, the storm has passed.
1. Embrace Change
John Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in history, won ten National Collegiate Athletic Association national championships in a 12-year period as head coach for the UCLA Bruins, including a record seven in a row. That said, Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his “Pyramid of Success.” These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball.
“Failure is not fatal. But failure to change may be”. Coach John Wooden.
It was a message he hammered into his players; which they carried into their own lives.
* Everyone loves progress but no one likes change. No question it’s difficult to make changes when you’re navigating in unfamiliar territory. Since you’re unsure what’s around the next corner, it’s easy to let fear make your decisions.
Here’s a few changes to consider making: Request to connect with someone new on LinkedIn. In times like this people have more time to consider connecting. Craft a professional yet pleasant ‘let’s connect email’ to encourage more members to connect. Also – begin doing a better review of those who contact you to connect. Develop a new LinkedIn Group for your industry; discuss issues affecting your industry during these changing times.
* When you embrace change, you change your mindset and it frees you up to tackle issues, rebuild or remake your life, career or your business. Steve Jobs said one of the best things that ever happened to him was being fired by Apple.
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Steve Jobs.
Here’s another change to consider making: Have you been dabbling in writing? Write several articles and submit them to content producers and/or article sites. It’s easy to raise your visibility when writing about issues people want to learn more about. And writing may be more fulfilling than other work. Plus there is the possibility of writing full time.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Ghandi.
2. Create your new vision
To some the mention of the word vision sounds woo woo. Yet corporations, medical devices, helpful pharmaceuticals, cures – and much more – were all built from someone’s vision for change to make people’s lives and health better.
“It doesn’t matter how fast you can go, it doesn’t matter how much passion you have, and it doesn’t matter how much energy you put into something. If you don’t have a vision and clarity on the destination you want to reach, you’ll simply never get there.” From the book ‘Millionaire Success Habits’ by legendary business coach Dean Graziosi.
Here’s a change to consider making: Purchase a journal and begin writing down your vision. Regardless if this is a career, financial or business change – or how unique your vision may seem – write all your ideas and related thoughts down in your journal. When you write in your journal, daily or consistently, you’ll be inspired to take action and make things happen. In short, your vision will begin to coalesce.
Creating a personal vision statement allows you to look forward to the future with positive expectations. It helps you stay focused and make decisions for your future.
“Journaling can help you turn a new page; write a new story.” Elena Welsh PhD.
Once you have your vision organized, and begun to take steps to put it in motion, spread the word. There’s no telling where personal, business or financial help can be found or a new idea, a career or business may arise when you begin discussing your vision with others.
3. Begin making choices and decisions which take you out of your comfort zone.
When it comes to making choices and decisions would you prefer to have others require you to make them or make your own? While we are required to make a variety of changes, today, they also offer the opportunity to adopt them to your own life.
Start out with simple changes and you’ll begin eliminating anxiety and fear. As you slowly adopt, you’ll discover it isn’t as difficult as you expect. You’ll cease feeling nervous and alone. And remember, others stepping out of their comfort zone are also fearful too; so you aren’t really alone. Also, there is no better way to grow. Research shows our brains benefit from new exercises, new experiences. Plus new challenges and experiences help rewire your brain; making it more adaptable, stronger and healthier. Each time you move out of your comfort zone, the more confident you’ll become, the more you’ll evolve and thrive.
In her book ‘Breaking Boundaries for a Life Beyond Limits – Out of Your Comfort Zone’ Emma Mardlin PhD tells us:
“If you’ve ever successfully confronted and overcome anything, even just for a short while, you’ll undoubtedly relate to the profound and overwhelming sense of self-satisfaction that comes with it. This experience provides you with a true sense of freedom, allowing you to breathe effortlessly and fully absorb life, knowing the only thing that can ever really hold you back is you.”
Here’s a few changes to consider making: Do one new thing, each day, which scares you but helps you begin building or rebuilding your confidence, expanding your work, career or your life. Join a new group and start networking. Expand your skills. Send an email to a business or LinkedIn connection and let them know what you admire about them or learned from them. It could lead to a new job, this individual could become a valuable new resource; they could refer you to a job or recommend you.
4. Find your purpose in life.
Today, with all we’re exposed to, to succeed – instead of getting stuck in a downhill spiral – purpose becomes the key to achieving good to great things in life; even during these seemingly negative times. When one determines what one’s purpose is and begins pursuing it, they become motivated with the knowledge and ideas – whether absolutely clear or just forming – of the direction in which they must move – or were meant to move – in order to advance instead of getting stuck in the limbo of lost dreams.
This isn’t just about success in your career or financial life, it includes family and personal relationships. Psychologists tell us purpose can also be used to fuel your motivation to get healthier, too.
If you have no purpose it’s easy to succumb to the pressure of life and the obstacles it consistently throws at you. Which may eventually cause you to ‘give up’, turn inward or turn towards unhealthy activities.
“If you want to be fulfilled, happy, content and experience inner peace and ultimate fulfillment”, says Jack Canfield, “it’s critical that you learn how to find your passion and your life purpose”.
Here’s a few changes to consider making: Take time to determine what your purpose or passion is. This is where journaling can help. Seek guidance from some experienced individuals. Join a group or network of individuals with similar needs who can help you begin discovering what your passion or purpose is. Keep improving any and all aspects of your life.
5) Double down on learning and training.
If you’re unemployed or otherwise sidelined, this could be the perfect time to begin learning a new skill for the industry you’re currently in or to learn something new which can be utilized in another industry. There are plenty of online DIY courses you can work on any time, 24/7.
With todays changes, companies are – in many cases – being required to adapt, modify or make over the business in order to succeed and profit. Requiring candidates and employees to possess new expertise in order for the company to stay competitive. That said, learning new skills now, updating your current skills, keeping up with changes in your industry is important. And, as business continues to evolve, you’ll be better prepared to apply for new jobs in your industry or work in another. And, most importantly, to maintain your edge over the competition.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life. And the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Steve Jobs.
Here’s a few changes to consider making: Search out appropriate training to up skills in your current job area. Check out free training offered online; Harvard offers some free online classes. Discover if there are live trainings, of value to you, hosted by educators or professional trainers. Check out Udemy, LinkedIn, Coursera. Check out available online classes at various colleges and universities.
A final word about changes from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Jean L. Serio, CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP