Are You Getting What You Really Want?
Jim Gilchrist B.E.S.
In this article shared with CLO-me by Jim Gilchrist B.E.S , Jim explores how we view change, how the initial benefits of training can often be lost unless we are consistently coached or mentored, and how we should challenge ourselves by constantly asking ourselves the question, “What is it that I really want?”
Human beings naturally prefer predictability. Knowing what to expect helps us to feel in control of our work (life), it reduces our feelings of stress and it provides comforting consistency. Unfortunately, the desire for consistency translates into resistance to change, in varying degrees, in the vast majority of people. While most people THINK that they are open to new ideas or new ways of doing things, the reality is that there is general reluctance to change even despite the fact that what they are doing is not getting them what they really want. Isn’t it a shame that so many people avoid change and reactively wait until there is no other alternative (“hit bottom”) rather than proactively capturing the new opportunities that will come when they alternatively accept and embrace change?
People support their desire for consistency via unconscious rationalizations that justify their past decisions. Since most people find it difficult to hold on to contradictory beliefs (cognitive dissonance) they will unconsciously adjust a new idea to make it fit with their current thinking. Even though they know that what they are doing is not working (or getting them what they want) they will rationalize the “status quo”, thus giving them reasons to avoid the exploration of new ideas or to put off starting new initiatives. By doing so, they don’t have to admit making mistakes, to question and re-evaluate their ability to make sound decisions or to worry about other people viewing them negatively.
For many, it’s just easier to do the same things in the same ways – despite unsatisfactory results. Illogically, these people will spend a lot of time and effort self-justifying their current behaviours and, rather than change the “status quo”, they become its active “maintainers”! For others, their true desire to change is often sabotaged by these unconscious rationalizations, and despite all good intentions they struggle to see how a change can help them. (This is where an objective coach or mentor can help, as they can logically challenge current beliefs and help people to see things in different ways). But even when they do accept change, for many people, sustaining the change over time can still be a challenge. Think about the typical “training session”. How often have you seen the initial enthusiasm for new ideas decline as time goes on? The problem is, without ongoing support (ie: coaching) those new ideas can eventually “lose out” to the more ingrained prior opinions and beliefs. In other words, people can fall back to the more comfortable “status quo”.
For those people who can overcome their natural resistance to change, the reward for their openness is greater access to the opportunities that will get them what they want. Innovative people understand this. By being uncomfortable with the “status quo”, and more comfortable with results-oriented change, innovators head in an alternative direction to most people. And thus they are better positioned to reap the benefits that elude so many. Rather than simply accept current conditions, innovative people question them.
Perhaps if we challenge ourselves by asking more questions regarding what we want we will be more able to utilize change in order to get more of what we want. Give it a try…
· What do you really want?
· Why are you not getting more of it?
· Why would you continue to hold on to what you know is ineffective?
· What is stopping you from changing your views?
· What do you fear losing?
· Is avoiding this “risk” really more important than getting what you want?
· What can you change to get more of what you want? (Forget about blaming others)
Perhaps you should ask yourself these types of questions more often. They just may help you to change, to be more innovative and to get what you really want.