What Drives Performance?
By. Bruce Riggs
Have you experienced significant changes in your relationships, businesses, and opportunities recently? I am reminded that there are two types of people. Those who fear walking through a new “door” or those who see new “doors” as challenges. Some see change as chaos and some see change as opportunities to grow.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” Although change is inevitable, how we respond to it is within our control. This is something that’s equally important to realize in business and your personal life. Many people have a certain resistance to change and cling to the security of what is familiar. Learning how to embrace and control the direction of change can help you become happier and more successful.
The Power of Attitude
Your attitude is something that you choose at every moment. Even when your circumstances are not ideal, you can choose how to respond to what’s going on around you. In most cases, what is happening, good or bad, involves some sort of change. Change comes in many forms.
- Changes in your relationships. People, you know change over time. Certain people leave your life while others enter it.
- Changes in the wider world, such as politics and the economy.
- Changes in your job or business. You may lose certain customers and acquire new ones. You might lose a job, find a job or start a new business.
- Changes in your personal habits. You may want or need to make lifestyle changes for the sake of your health or well being.
In general, change comes in two forms -the kind that occurs whether you like it or not and the kind you actively put into motion. When you have a positive attitude, you can benefit from both kinds. You can respond in a healthier manner to changes you cannot stop. You can also proactively implement positive changes in various areas of your life.
No matter what is happening, you can usually take steps that turn change in your favor. For example, if your doctor tells you that you’re overweight you can choose to change your diet and exercise more. If you lose your job, you can decide to start a business. In order to make positive changes, however, you must first have the belief that this is possible. This all comes down to your attitude.
Changing Your Mind and Thoughts
Changing your mind usually refers to making a new choice or having a new belief. It can also mean questioning your habitual thoughts and emotions. If you’re committed to personal growth, you have to realize that you can’t always listen to what your mind is telling you. You may have seen a bumper sticker that reads “Don’t believe everything you think.” There’s actually quite a bit of wisdom in this approach.
Much of what your mind tells you is based on what has happened in the past. Your mind is the result not only of what you actively embrace but also what you’ve picked up from your parents, teachers, friends and the media. Some of this is helpful and positive but much of it may not be.
It’s a good habit to question all of your thoughts. If a thought is telling you something unwanted or negative, you always have the choice to choose a more positive thought. Let’s look at some techniques you can take to help you choose thoughts that make it easier to embrace change.
How to Master Change
Since change is going to occur with or without our consent, we may as well learn how to master it. The following guidelines can help you do this.
- Question your initial reaction to change. If you hear about a new idea, action or technology, don’t automatically assume that it’s impractical or harmful. Be open to the possibility that it may be helpful in some ways.
- Accept changes that are inevitable. When the automobile replaced the horse and buggy as the most popular form of transportation, some people tried to resist this. Similarly, some people today resist using social media and even computers. If you see that certain changes are happening, make the best of it and don’t try to resist them.
- Make change work in your favor. Don’t simply accept change with an attitude of resignation. Figure out how to embrace and benefit from it. If you have a business, learn how the latest technologies can help you find more customers. If you are an investor, look for ways that change can be profitable, such as in the stock market.
- Don’t get stuck in the past. Resist any temptation to reminisce about the “good old days.” Nostalgia about the past can prevent you from moving forward.
- Practice mindfulness techniques to keep you in the present. Meditation, yoga, walking in nature and exercise keep you grounded in the present moment. This helps you maintain an open attitude towards change.
How Attitude Drive Performance
Your attitude determines your results in every area of your life. One of the most important aspects of your attitude is how you respond to change. Do you resist it or do you embrace it and look for ways to make it work in your favor? Take an honest look at yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you do have a tendency to resist change. This is very common. The good news is that it’s never too late to develop a more flexible attitude towards change.