Just like the seasons, things are bound to change and how you handle that change can determine the balance in your life. Here are some quick tips to create change on your own terms!
What better than the enticing scents and vibrant colors of fall to remind us of the cycle of change? As you infuse your products with hints of cinnamon, apple spice, and cranberry you may be drawn to thoughts and visions of new and different adventures. For some, these visions bring excitement and joy. For others they create sadness and often debilitating fear.
In nature, change is simply a cycle. The deep green leaves of trees that once beaconed to nesting songbirds easily change to the soothing colors of fall. As their colors become muted these once vibrant leaves float gently to the ground to signal the coming of yet another season. The tree does not resist this change, but simply prepares itself for what Mother Nature next has in store.
If only change were only that simple for the human race. Instead of gracefully accepting the uncertainty brought on by life’s unpredictable adventures, people often live in fear of the unknown. This creates resistance and pain, deadening the joy that may be awaiting them at the threshold of their new life experiences.
But in view of the negative, often painful events of the past, how can you choose to anticipate change in a hopeful, even optimistic manner? Just as you recreate your product line to include the much anticipated seasonal sensations, you must grow with the seasons of life. If you’re not making the money you want to make, not spending enough time with friends and family, or you’re simply not happy, it’s time for a change.
What excuses are holding you back? What are the stories you tell yourself and how do they keep you from taking action on the next bold steps?
While your stories may feel very true to you, deep down inside you know they are excuses. It’s not easy to shed these excuses but I have good news. When you acknowledge and face the nagging thoughts that hold you back and find the courage to intentionally create change, life will become far less painful. It’s empowering to create change before it’s forced upon you by shifts in the marketplace, the economy, or other things that are not within your control.
Try these simple tips to give you the boost you need to create change on your own terms. Life will be far simpler as you get into the rhythm of intentional, joyful change!
Keep it real.
Entrepreneurs have to think big, but sometimes that's a shortcoming. Is it realistic to boost your earnings by 33 percent, lose 50 pounds, spend more time with the family, begin a daily exercise regime, change your diet, and develop and launch six new products in six months time? Probably not, but you'd be surprised at how many people set themselves up for failure by believing it is. Get realistic. Sure, it’s empowering to dream big and reach for the stars but exercise your ability to succeed first. Set realistic expectations and enjoy the journey!
Keep it simple.
Rather than living under the weight of unrealistic expectations, begin with a short list of things you'd like to change or achieve within a realistic time frame. Don't overdo it! OK, so you want everything now but you have to start somewhere. Have you ever noticed that you can live with your excuses for months, even years? Then one day you realize that if you had just broken your goal down into bite-sized pieces you'd have achieved it by now? Keep it simple; nothing has to feel monumental and overwhelming. As you tick these smaller goals off your list you will pick up momentum and build confidence. It's better to achieve one or two things in six month's time than to have achieved nothing at all!
Make a list of the things that may stop you from achieving your goals—but don't stop there. Now make a list of possible solutions and resources and use them to create a supportive environment. When fearful thinking gets in the way break out the journal and ask yourself if these thoughts are really, really true. When you are willing to look at the worse-case scenario you’ll find that it’s usually not as bad as the imagination makes it out to be. Clear these fears and you'll find that just about anything is possible! If you find it difficult to do yourself reach out to a coach or therapist for help.
I can't repeat it enough: it's OK to start small. Build on these smaller successes rather than fail at the overly ambitious goals right off the bat. You will be more inclined to create ongoing change and improve your life and business one step at a time, rather than not at all.