Have you ever tried to change yourself for the better and failed? You are not alone!
Think of a time when you wanted to start something new - either an exercise routine, appreciate rather than finding faults or giving constructive feedback. Most of us would make a start but again fall back to our old ways. Even if it is life critical such as lifestyle changes required for your prolonged life, it is not easy to change and sustain new behaviors. This is because there is a gap between what we want to do and our actual ability to do.
According to Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, this gap is due to our immunity to change. Though all of us possess this immunity and are prone to resist change, some of us are better suited to overcome the immunity, sustain and integrate new behaviors into their lives. Based on my reflections of using the framework given by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, here are three major themes to ponder which would enable you to navigate the change in a better way:
1. How much do you really want?
The first and foremost requirement is to identify a goal that is most important for you. If you manager says that you need to develop your presentation skills, you might start to work on it but for you to see significant progress, it is necessary for you to be clear why you would like to work on that goal. A few deeper points for your reflection: What will you gain by working on the goal? What will you lose if you do not work on it? Why is it important to work on it NOW? This will help you identify your deeper motivation to sustain your energy to work towards the goal.
2. How are you working against your own goal?
Though you are aware of the benefit of the goal, it would be worthwhile to reflect on how through your action or inaction, you are working against your own goal. For example, even though managers know how delegation would be beneficial for them, some of them have difficulty delegating and continue to take on work themselves.
3. What fears and worries make you work against your own goal?
Going deeper into your exploration, it is important to understand what fears or worries are making you act in ways that work against your own goal. Continuing the example of managers
who find challenges in delegation, some of the fears would be loss of control, loss of reputation and recognition and so on.
4. What are your beliefs underlying each of these fears and worries?
To overcome the above fears, it is important to introspect on your beliefs and assumptions which trigger those thoughts of fear or worry. Continuing on the above example, the fear of loss of control could be because of the assumption that if delegated the situation might go wrong or out of hand. Similarly for the fear of loss of reputation could be because of the assumption that people would not recognize their achievements if they don’t solve the problems hands on.
In conclusion, the above four questions would help to explore deeper into yourself and overcome the resistance to change for the better.