How hard is it for you to think about changing something you do? Or changing the way you respond to a particular situation? Or the way you think about something? Or something that is getting in your way?
Most of us have a hard time thinking about and making a change in ourselves. Someone said something to me last week that went something like this, “Wow, this is hard. I’m tired and this takes energy. I can see why someone who wasn’t really motivated to make a change just wouldn’t do it!”
A couple things come to mind that I want to explain and share with you. First, we adults have been through a lot. We have a ton of lived experience. We have belief in ourselves. And that belief has gotten us to this point. We’ve talked about ourselves, our accomplishments, and our difficulties. We own it!
It’s paradoxical because it is that experience, those beliefs, accomplishments and trials by fire that could be holding us back at this very moment. Changing something about ourselves that is part of that past feels really hard. Feels like we are talking about doing away with something we value.
The second and related thing is that we have an identity and a reputation. Robert Hogan explains that identity is the set of stories we tell about ourselves. They are made up of the beliefs we have about ourselves, our accomplishments and our difficulties, as we see them. Reputation is how others, in general, see us and the stories they might tell about us.
Often, when we think about working on and possibly changing something to get us unstuck, we are often thinking about a part of our identity. That’s hard, unless we’ve seen something we don’t particularly like. Starting by working on something reputational, that might be keeping us stuck, something we might find out from feedback, could provide a more neutral starting point for us to get ourselves unstuck.
And remember, those of us who are open to our own growth are always working on something!
See where growth might benefit you. Take my leadership quiz.