How many times have you done things that you really did not want to do? How did it turn out? Typically, when your heart and soul are not in something, the success is significantly less than when you are committed to it completely.
Let’s look at change for a moment—who likes change? Who fears change? Who would rather go to the dentist and get teeth pulled without Novocain? If you said “yes” to any of these, then join the club. Why so fearful? Why is it so hard to change?
Think of something you want to change in your life. Let’s say you want to go to the gym and workout more. There are four stages of readiness that, if looked at properly, will help you see where you are at and why you do what you do.
- Compelled by authority to change. This is stage one of the readiness to change. In our example, this is like getting a letter in the mail from your insurance company that says after your recent physical exam, they determined you need to lose 20 lbs. How motivated are you going to be to lose that weight? If you do it, and are compelled by authority, the likelihood of lasting change is minimal. What if you change insurance companies? Is the pressure off? What happens when you lose the 20 lbs? How do you keep it off?
- Comply to escape criticism to change. This is stage two of the readiness to change. In our example, the office is having a weight-loss competition and the last thing you need is another reason for anyone to criticize you at the office. So you do it to escape the criticism. It’s more successful than stage one, but as soon as the criticism is gone, so is the motivation. What if you change jobs? What happens once the competition is done?
- Intellectual need to change. This is stage three of the readiness to change, and it goes from external pressure to change to internal pressure, but you are still not engaging your heart and soul. You look in the mirror and you see why the insurance company sent the letter and the advantage for you to be in the weight-loss competition, but it’s still in your head. It’s definitely getting better, but if your mind can talk you into it, then it can talk you out of it.
- Mentally and emotionally ready to change. This is stage four of the readiness to change, and if you achieve this level, then you will see the best results. You are going to the gym because you want to, not because you have to. You are emotionally able to deal with the fact that you need to lose some weight and there is a great way to do it—the gym!
Look at these in your business decisions and see which ones stick and which ones need some more passion and determination! I hope you are at stage four on all your important decisions!