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Making Change

change-comfort-zone

Making Change

How To Be A Change Agent In Your Own Life change-cartoon

 

So, are You a change agent? What does that even mean?

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “a Change Agent is someone who knows and understands the dynamics that facilitate or hinder change. Change Agents define, research, plan, build support, and partner with others to create change. They have the courage and the willingness to do what is best for the community.”

A Change Agent also knows and respects themselves and others, values diversity, hones others’ skills and their own, forges collective ways to address mutual community interests and concerns and builds bridges to allow for the change, whether within themselves or in others.
So, how do we know individually if we need to make a change?
First, make sure you aren’t one of those people who expects excitement all the time. If this is the case, that is a soul ailment that needs a spiritual adjustment. If you have lackluster, dread, additional fatigue, large amounts of procrastination, illnesses not related to sickness, lower motivation, and/or lower libido, you can bet something needs to change in your life.
If you’re truly experiencing three of more of the above, figure out what is causing those feelings. Maybe it’s one thing in particular, maybe it’s several things – either way, write down what is bothering you and seek out a way to make a change.  For instance, if you’re low on excitement in your current relationship, write down a list of the things you once loved about your partner. You may realize you “want what you have” and don’t want to “go fishing!”
Professional Change
If you’re a LEADER in your organization who fosters others, shining the light on them rather than yourself, you are more likely to have a team full of people looking forward to coming to work on Monday, making you a positive Change Agent! But what if you need to make changes in your professional life?
Maybe you’re feeling burned out at your job, or even in your career, and you want to make a change but you’re not sure if you really should or how to go about it. If you’re the breadwinner in your family, there is definitely a lot to consider before making a professional change. Sometimes, staying put until the next option is in place is the way to go. However, if your job is truly making you sick, find a way to get out  – quick!  Personally, I waited too long and got very ill from being out of alignment with my profession, and as many of you know, I spent several years in bed and unable to function because I’d burnt myself out. Use my story as your inspiration and don’t do what I did. It’s not worth it. No job is worth losing your health over.
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Consider these questions, and then decide about making a professional job change: 
  • Do you lack passion?
  • Is your company sinking?
  • Are you miserable every Sunday evening or Monday morning?
  • Do you dislike the people you work with and/or your boss?
  • Are you consistently stressed or unhappy at work?
  • Is your work related stress affecting your physical or mental health?
  • Have you lost respect for your company or the culture?
  • Is your work performance suffering?
  • Is your work-life balance lopsided?
  • Your skills aren’t being used?
  • Your duties have increased, but benefits or pay hasn’t increased?
  • Are your ideas being dismissed?
  • Do you feel bored or stagnant?
  • Are you experiencing verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or are aware of any type of other illegal behavior?
If you answered Yes or true to 5 or more of these and you might want to consider a department or job change.  Even if you can’t do it right away, start making goals or a plan to do it in the near future, as your mental and physical health will become affected if it isn’t already!
Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, says some people are able to see the signs that it’s time to leave their job, and they’ll either try to improve the situation, simply gripe about it, or go into denial that the situation isn’t as bad as they think. But others are unaware of the signals that it’s time to get out, she says.
When working with clients who want to change their career/professional life, we work through a process that helps them understand themselves better, while getting ready for their new career. Use this outline to help yourself prepare for change:
  1. Know Yourself. Identify your values, standards, priorities, preferences and ideals. Write these things down so you can see in black and white what you believe in – you can’t be happy and successful if you don’t know what that means to you.
  2. Let Go. What we think, do, and say can block us from our own success. If you want to move forward, find the negative patterns in your life that you keep repeating and do something productive to change those patterns. Hold yourself accountable to the changes  you need to make – no one else can do it for you.
  3. Identify EXACTLY what you want from your life, and bring those things closer to you. If you dream of running your own company but aren’t doing research on how to start it, what you will need in terms of licenses, incorporation options, locations, etc. you are probably always going to work for someone else.
  4. Set Your Goals. Positive change, whether in a career or in your personal life, does not happen overnight. You need to set specific goals with a timeline so you can stay on track. Realize that you have two choices – you can exert little effort and stay where you are, or commit yourself to making the changes you want in your life.

It takes time, energy, and patience to create the life you desire, but you CAN do it! Many people find that it’s easier to make changes when there’s someone in their corner cheering them on. So, find a friend or mentor who can help you identify who you are, what you want, and how to achieve your goals.

In the long run, wouldn’t you rather spend your energy building the life you desire instead of dreading the life you lead? Be your own change agent and make your world a better place.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.'”  ~Mike Murdock