Live Well: Change For Success

Live Well: Change For SuccessWhen it comes to changing, people are often heard saying things like: “Leopards can’t change their spots” or “he/she will never change” or “look where they come from; he/she is just like the rest of that family!” What is so sad about these and similar sayings is that they deny individuals’ abilities to persevere, to grow, to overcome large obstacles and even thrive. We are not like anyone else…we are our own person, and we all have talents and abilities. What we do with them is up to us, but it’s sad to think of the many people who go to their graves every year with their potential still locked inside.

 Change can be more difficult for some than others—deprived upbringing, poor environments, past mistakes, lack of encouragement and support. However, this does not mean that making positive changes is impossible – Oprah Winfrey’s scarred, painful childhood; Bill Gates and Walt Disney’s failed businesses, Albert Einstein who never spoke for the first three years of life and was thought by his teachers to be lazy and not likely to amount to much, and many others.
 Positive change requires the four A’s—Awareness, Acceptances, Action and Attitude. Even before these, a Decision to change must be made, one that is not just lip service, but one that includes behaviors that will bring us closer to our goals. It’s not enough to say: “I want to be a successful entrepreneur” while we keep doing old, self-defeating behaviors. Behavior needs to match words, or wheels on the words, so to speak.

 After a decision is made, we need to be Aware of what behaviors/attitudes are no longer working for us.  We are then ready to move into accepting responsibility for the change by developing a plan that is in keeping with our goal; sometimes, we need more than one plan and we need to prepare for setbacks since life has a habit of not following our scripts!! With a plan, we are now ready to start the Action steps, which may need to be revised from time-to-time as the unexpected pops up.
 How we deal with and overcome setbacks is really a matter of attitude. Attitude is everything when it comes to handling adversity. There may be a tendency to revert to the old “life is not fair…everyone was right, I am a failure” or, after a period of licking our wounds, we can review what worked, what didn’t work, what needs to be changed and use that information to inform the new plan.

 Achieving any goal, whether career, material or financial success first requires a decision, then the right attitude, and determination to keep trying and learning. It can be done!