In his latest book, Triggers: Creating Behaviour That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be, leadership and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith writes:
Adult behaviour change is one of the most difficult things for sentient human beings to accomplish.
Have you ever wanted something badly, but knew that it would take a great deal of determination, effort and consistency to make it happen? And just thinking about it made you want to run?
Have you ever felt like a wild horse that couldn’t be tamed?
I certainly have.
When it came to changing my life significantly, I landed smack against steel walls of resistance.
That was true, even if they were things I loved or wanted with all my heart.
When it comes to making changes, we don’t always understand the dynamics at play, particularly the stranglehold of inertia, its arsenal of weapons, and the minefield of subtle ways we dissuade ourselves from taking necessary action.
One Decision, Small Steps
I have had to learn how to move past thoughts and behaviours that stopped me cold, and to gently introduce new habits and processes that would sustain my vision and ultimately, my effort.
What I needed was to take the right action, and until I learned how to do that, I failed often.
Over the past four years, I have been committed to writing. It’s been something I loved and dropped decades ago.
Beginning gently and slowly, I registered for a blogging course and committed to producing a weekly blog at the suggestion of the coach. By deciding to focus on the long game and letting go of expecting immediate results, I improved, line by line.
After one year of blogging weekly, I submitted a piece to The Huffington Post and was thrilled to be accepted immediately. That was a glorious reward, because I didn’t start out being a good-enough blogger.
I continued publishing steadily until a policy change after Arianna Huffington’s departure excluded bloggers from being indexed on Google. We weren’t given any explanation.
That gesture was a hard blow for many of us who had been publishing there and nothing like Arianna’s generosity and good will, I set my focus elsewhere and tried other goals that kept me writing.
Inspired by Seth Godin, I decided that I would not only write daily, but also ship. That’s Seth’s term for pushing projects out into the world.
At a minimum, I decided to publish to my personal and business Facebook sites and be more visible.
Bigger Steps, Focused Strategy
As you know, we can want something but do nothing about it in real time —and dreams without action rarely land.
Haven’t you heard, too many times to count, people saying “I know, I know…” as if knowing something is the same thing as doing something about it.
To accomplish anything of significance, takes creating an overall strategy, setting specific and measurable goals, scheduling tasks and completing them. Along the way, you tweak and course correct.
You may know that these are the necessary steps, but that’s not the same as creating the strategy, goals, schedule and taking the necessary actions.
Making the decision to become the person you want to be means being willing to create a winning strategy and being responsible for your life.
Leaders Create Their Lives
Each of us is a leader, responsible for our lives and our impact in the world. Embracing this truth has rewarded me significantly.
As leaders, we make choices and always have choice, even if we don’t see it at first.
No one else can do my writing for me. Nothing gets done by itself — by thinking or reading about it alone, much as I love that.
What I want at all costs is to avoid having regrets at the end of my life, whining or blaming someone or some circumstance for ruining my chances, the way so many people do who are not exercising their leadership capacities.
By making the effort, line by line, word by word, to grow my skill every day, I get to see where it leads – wherever that is. I’m up for surprises.
It’s a journey of creativity, adventure and mystery.
So, as you contemplate the idea of using your gifts and changing into a person you can admire, know that though adult behaviour change may be challenging, there are systematic steps to get you there.
Ironically, the more you commit and create, the more creative you become.
You can take your own wild horse spirit and focus its inherent power to produce the unexpected, and to become more than you ever imagined, and you’ll be freer to do so.
Starting is key.
Until the moment of commitment — nothing.
Once committed — the moon.
If you are not where you want to be – happy, creative, engaged, energized – get started today.
Or reach out.
Reaching out and asking for help is wise adult leadership behaviour. It was the first lesson of leadership training.
Let me know what’s going on. Let’s schedule a complimentary call and discover what’s possible. Click here for that.
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