Personal growth and development is often difficult, whether you’re trying to change a behaviour, an attitude, or your current circumstances. The process is likely to be more “start, stop, start” than the smooth transition you’d like it to be, as willpower flags and as other priorities vie for your attention.

Recently I participated in a facilitated conversation where a group of professionals from finance, mining/engineering and not-for-profit work-shopped the topic ‘Achieving Meaningful Change’. They each shared tips, insights and obstacles, creating a rich discussion that left us each energised to pursue our chosen future. I have included a summary of the insights that may inspire you also.

What has worked for you in creating personal change?

  • Be honest about how much I want to make this change…does this really matter? Or can I tolerate continuing in this less than desirable state?
  • Identify the pain points – where is the current state of things hurting me? How much?
  • Set clear and compelling goals for where I want to be, the inspiring picture of the future
  • Formulate incremental ‘baby’ steps toward each goal, make them easy so I can achieve
  • Make the move out of the comfort zone, take the first steps, be brave and commit to action
  • Create a winning mindset, prepare carefully for the difficult and lonely times when I am tempted to give up, develop strategies to keep focus and ensure I can deal with the distractions that come
  • Face the fear of failure; ask myself ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’, and decide to go easy on myself if I do stumble
  • Partner with someone else; link up with some form of external assistance; this was overwhelmingly agreed to make change much easier

 What are some of the obstacles that block your attempts to change?

  • Accepting the comfort zone – I tolerate the present state saying I’d like to change, but have deep ingrained habits
  • Welcoming excuses when they come, taking the easy way out and justifying it to myself
  • Fear of failure – not starting because I fear it may not work, not being able to accept failure as part of the road to success
  • Living in mediocrity – not exposing myself to people and situations that challenge to change and grow
  • Personal development fatigue – trying to do too much at once

 The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark…Michelangelo

All the best in your hero’s journey…Graham