Does the reason we change make a difference or should we consider any change positive? Before leaping towards change, make sure you consider what you are leaving, why you are leaving it, what you wish to accomplish and how you plan to proceed. Think about the positive AND the potentially negative ramifications of change. Decide whether the unknown to which you gravitate is truly a better place to be than the comfortable place you have come to know and love before you jump as acting without passion is often worse than deciding not to act at all. Consider the following when seeking personal or professional change:
• LOOK TO BUILD UPON THE STRENGTHS YOU HAVE – THE THINGS YOU ENJOY DOING WITHIN YOUR PRESENT SITUATION – BEFORE TRYING TO ELIMINATE THOSE THINGS YOU SIMPLY DO NOT ENJOY. When discussing change, many say their boss is intolerable, the environment oppressive, the work is not what they thought, a partner is not what he/she once was – the list is endless. Unless one seeks to identify (and accept) his or her role in each negative, however, it is difficult to create lasting change by running from a bad experience. Before blaming someone else for a bad situation, examine what role YOU may have played in its becoming tarnished and consider how YOU
• IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS WHEN CONSIDERING CHANGE. Few people dwell upon what they like most about their situation – rather they carry on endlessly about what is “bad” about it. If seeking a new job, people tend to seek positions having a similar title. Individuals able to accomplish change tend to identify and build upon their proven abilities as they transition from one place to the next, leveraging what they HAVE rather than dwelling upon what they do not have or wish to achieve. If seeking change, identify the strengths that have contributed to past successes then leverage them to create different opportunities or accomplish new things.
• ISOLATE (AND ADDRESS) THE NEGATIVES WITHIN YOUR CURRENT SITUATION TO AVOID BUILDING THEM INTO YOUR NEXT OPPORTUNITY. We often find the things we dislike most have little to do with our duties, responsibilities or actual day-to-day activities. Many times the “things” driving us to distraction are environmental, people we work with, the level of responsibility (or lack of responsibility) we are given (or assume), the boss, the lack of attention we are receiving (without thought about the fulfillment we receive) – the list of “dislikes” could go on forever. If these are the reasons for change, make sure to resolve them before transitioning to something else. Before taking action to disrupt your existence, make sure that it needs disrupting! A relatively minor issue should not force you into giving something up that you otherwise enjoy.
When seeking change it is important that we run towards opportunity rather than away from failure. We tend to see the neighbor’s “greener grass” as we ignore our own lawn’s possibilities. We see the results of another’s effort before fully investigating our own potential. The precursor of change should be determining what you like most about what you are now doing and building upon that foundation.
When should we seek change? ONLY when we are willing to walk away from the world we know to enter one we can only imagine by leveraging the strengths we possess rather than those we wish we had (or are only trying to find).