Are YOU Ready to Change?

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Gandhi

Many people are involved in some kind of change. Whether it be large organisational change, personal transformation, a work project or a house or office move. Large or small, they all constitute change. One of the biggest challenges is influencing this change to achieve your desired outcome. It  could include getting people to change, wondering why they won’t, or worrying about the things that are not changing or working as you wish them to. These are all external stressors that challenge your ability to achieve an outcome. The common denominator in all this, of course, is YOU. You need to be ready to change yourself, just as much, if not more, than the factors surrounding you. Are you ready to change yourself to get results?

One of the most common reactions to any of these stressors is to behave defensively. Whether it be anxiousness or anger or something similar, they constitute the behaviour of a defensive mindset. Responding to a situation with a defensive mindset limits our options and can divert our attention away from our purpose. Focusing on the dangers posed, rather than the outcome, could indicate a number of issues that will need to be addressed if you wish to reach your goals.

These issues could result in a pattern of behaviour that leads you to be reactive rather than proactive, have a narrow focus, over-generalise and personalise situations leading to ego-based decisions. Recognising this pattern of behaviour is key to developing self-management strategies to overcome this, and change to adapt to the situation and get results.

Recognising these behaviours and being willing to change them is the first step. Developing proactive self-management strategies can minimise opportunities for a defensive mindset to develop. An example of a proactive strategy could be instead of personalising an issue, conduct a neutral diagnosis of the reasons for the negative outcome and look at the possible contribution of a wider range of factors. To prevent over-generalising, you may want to come up with a more constructive process of giving feedback either to yourself or others.

The most important thing is to make a commitment to yourself to practise a different and more productive pattern of thinking. Your willingness to do this, drop the defensiveness and activate an enabling mindset will allow you to change. If you have the ability to change yourself, you can change the world.