When asked who wants to improve their lives through self-development, people are quick to raise their hands and say things like:
“Yes, I want to change!” “I want to be happier!” “Yes, I want to earn more money!”
I think we can all identify to some degree with these types of responses.
For most of us, self-development is not about a mystical summit or an ultimate life goal, it is the simple, yet complex, mantra of comparing who we are today with who we were yesterday, so we can improve ourselves in the future.
And, if you think about it, even the slightest enhancement counts towards your self-development and well-being.
Yet, many people choose to seek ostentatious goals hoping for overnight success, which typically ends in a lot of anger, frustration and self-shaming.
It also gets people on what I call the “self-development treadmill” – lots of money spent on different programs with different gurus and they don’t move forward towards achieving their goals.
Why? Well, not only is change hard, it also takes more than the desire to improve yourself to get results.
People Want to Make Changes In Their Lives, Yet they don’t have the energy to do it.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Most people are very capable and can achieve anything they set their minds to achieve. Most people don’t fail in their attempts at self-development because they have self-destructive tendencies or a lack of willpower. Yet, they don’t get the results they want.
The reason why they struggle is that it’s just normal people dealing with a natural thing called limited energy.
The facts are that you don’t perform the same way at work when you have 3 hours of sleep. Nor do you talk the same way in front of an audience when you barely eat. Your resources are limited, and caffeine isn’t the answer.
Change takes time, and the time it takes to make a change can be extended by energy loss. This is a blind spot for most people and what most leaders fail to see when setting goals and priorities.
Leaders make project plans and deadlines based upon the time they think it will take to accomplish things. They think they have unlimited energy and then complain and get frustrated after not meeting their initial goal which may even throw off the timeline for achieving additional goals.
Remember this: habits, behaviors and mindsets are embedded in our neural pathways because they’ve been repeated for years. When we change our behaviors and habits, we’re basically creating new neural pathways, and this takes physical energy.
In effect, we’re telling our mind that the way we’ve always done things is wrong and this creates unconscious thoughts such as:
Man, this is hard. The way we’ve done this in the past has worked, right? And it’s much easier! Besides, we’re not seeing results. Instead of trying this new thing that’s hard, we should use all that free time to get some rest or decent entertainment. Work and daily life is exhausting already, let’s look at Facebook.”
This is why you should learn to manage your energy, instead of just managing your time.
This is the first step towards self-development.
How To Improve Results by Creating Change
Charles Duhigg, is an award-winning New York Times Business reporter and the author of the book ‘The Power of Habit’, a book that explores why we procrastinate, why it’s so difficult to change patterns of behavior, and why the path of self-development is all about small steps.
The idea is simple, and you’ve probably heard it a thousand times by now; to meet bigger goals, split the tasks into smaller, more achievable chunks of work. By doing this, you can avoid burnout and frustration, while building a powerful achiever habit.
Ok, you’re probably thinking – “Hey Chris, I already know how to eat an elephant, what’s new about that? “
What’s groundbreaking about his book is recognizing that personal, as well as organizational change, always comes with resistance.
Time, Energy . . . and Resistance
And it takes time, and energy, to break through resistance and make lasting change. This is true whether you have a personal goal to start working out more often or are leading a cultural change from your new position of CEO.
Breaking down things this way can be problematic because of our culture; we tend to want immediate results and plan our goals accordingly – especially in business. However, you will see better results and have much greater success in making small, incremental changes which create less resistance and add up to big changes over time.
The key to this is remembering to factor in the energy required to make lasting change.
Unless you’re from the planet Krypton, you don’t have seemingly unlimited energy. You might have to do less to achieve more so you have the energy reserves needed to achieve your goals. In other words, what are the energy drainers that you can eliminate from your life or your company’s processes to get the results you want?
Using this strategy, you can overcome personal and organizational resistance by adopting almost imperceptible, but tangible, changes in your life and/or organization that will build momentum and lead to big results.
Smoothing Your Journey
Forming powerful habits and creating meaning change takes time and energy, and I have spent more than 25 years either leading change in companies or helping leaders at other organizations stay on top of the competition.
One of my secret methods is energy management. When paired with a proven coaching process, individuals I work with create a clear plan of actions that will create success for themselves and for their organizations.
Everyone has unexplored potential within them, so don’t let it go to waste. You can be better than you were yesterday and be twice as good tomorrow if you make a habit of self-development.
If you want to make a habit out of self-development for yourself or if you want to improve your company’s culture and/or the leadership skills for your employees, you can trust Chris Gossard to help you change things for the better.
Start today with a just a little mindset shift.
Find out more by contacting Chris Gossard today, and take the next step towards success.