Douglas Vermeeren – CHANGE: It begins with Influence
Change has been the recent subject of many of my posts and articles. The reason why is that change is such an important topic. To get to new outcomes in life and achieve higher levels of success, self worth or power change is required. Naturally you’ve heard the logic that if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. While this sounds very easy on the surface to do new things can require sometimes overwhelming change. Even for the brave and courageous there are changes that are just very difficult to make.
One of the biggest obstacles that I have noticed as I have taught change to my students is they often begin their desires for change to focus on things outside of their control. For example, they want to change their spouse, boss, their children and so forth. Often times they find themselves in consequences they created or fell into and rather than face those consequences they want to change those too. The truth is that while change can begin quickly the results or new solutions of change sometimes take time to unravel the problems that exist in the moment.
Often change is temporary or ineffective because the person making the change becomes discouraged when things aren’t working as quickly as they’d like. This article is not on the speed of change although there are many things we can do to get lightening speed change. But rather this is on the one things that slows change more than anything else. And that is to give our power of change away to things beyond our influence.
You can only change what you choose to own. In other words, you can only have power over the things within your influence. I’ve often heard the argument when a relationship isn’t working “Why should I change. I’m okay It’s him/her that’s the problem.” That may be true (or not) but the one thing I will tell you is that every circumstance is the result of an equation. You + The other person = the Situation. Maybe it could look like this 1 + 1 = 2. In order to change the situation it is not necessary to change the other person. Starting with you will actually also change the results. If you change yourself to a 2 instead of 1 the equation looks like this: 2 + 1 = 3.
Changing the other person or other element of the equation rarely works in the long term. Sure a person may rise their behaviour to respond to the last argument or frustration. but it is never lasting.
However when you take the first steps to change – everything can change. Remember though it can take time and patience, but it will change. It has to – that’s just the way equations work out. When you change what you do you change what you get.
So the next time you are tempted to require change of someone else recognize that it will not give you long lasting change. I have always loved the saying, “People are like string you can pull them along, but you can never push them.” If you want the situation to rise lead it there.
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