How to refuse “the way it’s always been done” and survive uncomfortable change.

This year has imposed much change in our life, but going forward, how can we navigate it and thrive? Much of the resistance to change has to do with the beliefs we're holding onto. Taking stock of what no longer adds benefit to our life is key.

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If there was one good piece of advice I would’ve most benefited from prior to 2020, that would be to refuse to accept the way it’s always been done. This year has forced us to consider how we function in our lives, and think of our business in a whole new way.

We were faced with many changes, some on a grand level.

If we have a bricks and mortar business, we had to shift to an online store. If we have a restaurant, we had to develop a delivery or take out system. If we offer in-person counselling, we had to move to a video meeting platform or telephone sessions.

It required us to let go of how it has always been done in order to survive.

Our intelligence is made up of what those around us have taught us. It’s limited. It’s confined by logic and what’s been done before.

Robin Sharma, The 5AM Club

The idea of doing something that’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar makes us resist that change.

I recall in the spring of this year, an email from my son’s school requesting all parents take on a larger role in the education of their children. I thought, that’s not my job, I have other responsibilities to attend to, I have no time.

Those excuses seemed valid, but for the sake of my son’s education I couldn’t ignore it and hope that it went away. This was the same wish I had for the pandemic—that I can ignore it and soon it’ll go away.

Neither of those did what I had hoped.

When frustration subsided I surrendered to the question: If I removed the options of how it was done in the past, how would I do this with new eyes?

This seemed more challenging than I thought. I had to assess my beliefs—the messages I told myself over and over again that became true to me. Those beliefs that I had invested in and supported over the years.

I was experiencing what seemed like a mourning phase. Similar to the painful experience of cutting my losses as I cashed in stocks after paying into them over the years with little or no return.

I had to stop investing in something that was no longer adding benefit to my life.

Letting go was uncomfortable. Considering new ideas was unfamiliar. I naturally started campaigning to resist this change.

Soon I was looking to role models who persevered in challenging times—such as Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Oprah. What would they do?

“Don’t just stay in your lane. Try things you haven’t done before.”

Bobbi Brown, Master Class

I started to question the systems I had in place, and the habits and routines that I was committed to. Then started to restructure them to my new way of tackling problems. I asked, how can I do this differently and get the same or better result?

As the ideas started to come, I realized that by letting go of many beliefs it actually helped to create clarity.

Many times the way we always did something then isn’t the best way to do something now. Holding onto the past often creates difficulty for achieving our goals.

I now think that when it comes to change in my life—any change, big or small—I need to look at what’s the best way to solve this. Since choosing the most comfortable and familiar may also mean settling for something that no longer works.

#weeklyprompt #beliefs #change

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