Over the last decade, I’ve gone through major transformations and I’ve been through a lot of changes, both positive and negative. When I reflected on what it takes to move from one way of doing things to another, I came to the conclusion that successful change involves six important elements:
Commitment and determination
For those who think that determination and commitment are one and the same, I’d argue that there is an important, albeit subtle difference. Commitment involves a willingness to do the action steps that are necessary for change. But determination goes beyond simply being willing to a steadfast state of mind — a tenacity that means NOTHING will sway you from your goal — a belief, a faith that things really can be different. In my opinion, there needs to be this combination of commitment and determination to create a mindset that believes that success is possible.
Once you have that combination working for you, taking action becomes much easier… and then, time helps those new actions and behaviors move from being a struggle to being second nature.
I think it’s obvious that change is itself action — and, moreover, it requires action to put change into motion. If you are going to change, you have to act. You have to take concrete, real steps to create new habits and live your life as a different person. And this also takes time — time to do these new actions, time to settle into new habits, time to help these habits become part of your new being.
Time and patience
I have to say from experience that time is the most helpful and also the most daunting of the elements of change. Let’s start with its daunting nature.
The length of time needed for change to take place can often seem as long as the time it took to create the original situation that we are trying to change. Let’s face it — we live in a world that has become used to getting things immediately — instant gratification.
But change doesn’t happen in a heartbeat. Real, significant, meaningful transformation only occurs after a similarly significant amount of time passes. It takes time, and often a great deal of it, for change to take hold and solidify. And of course, every situation is different. Sometimes, it’s helpful to remind yourself just how long it’s taken for your present situation to develop. Doing so makes one realize how unreasonable it would be to expect change to come about any quicker.
So as we go through change — whether it be deliberate or unwelcome — we must take daily doses of patience, tempered with confidence that change WILL come about eventually, even if not as quickly as we’d like. As long as the determination and commitment remain, transformation can and will occur. But our lack of patience can destroy those important elements, and defeat our plans.
How can we gain and maintain the patience necessary to get through time and keep moving forward? For myself, I have found a great amount of it in support. Looking back, I’ve come to realize that I’ve seldom gone through or achieved any sort of transformation all by myself.
A prime example has been weight loss. On my own, I’ve seldom been able to lose weight or get fit. But with the help of weight loss coaches and fitness coaches, I’ve always been able to at least improve my situation. Without them, my weight loss stalls. I run in place, and sometimes, I even find myself running in the wrong direction, as my weight goes up.
When I was a little girl, my cousin’s wife showed me a bunch of old Girl Scout badges she hard earned. These badges were from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and as someone who was in Girl Scouts at the time, I thought they were pretty cool. One of them had embordered on it the image of a Girl Scout standing on an island, with the phrase “No man is an island.” I was a little too young to understand what that meant, so I asked her to explain it to me. She said it meant that we shouldn’t try to do things all by ourselves — that we NEED the help of others.
Not only are we not expected to do things on our own, we are not supposed to do things on our own. The human race was designed to be dependent on each other. When we lose sight of that, we fall into trouble.
And so it is with improving and changing our businesses and our life in general. This is not a journey that we are supposed to be taking on our own. Instead, it’s a journey of togetherness.
Much of what I’m relaying here is very related to the idea of outsourcing more for a better business and a better life. You can learn more about what I have to say regarding outsourcing for your business by clicking HERE.
Is successful change possible? Not only is it possible — it’s inevitable, if we want to grow and improve in any area of our lives, whether that’s business or something more personal. It’s necessary. I’ve seen it happen within my own business and life. But it won’t happen successfully without the six elements of commitment, determination, action, time, patience, and support. All these elements need to be considered as you create your own business, career, and life.