“The curse of knowledge is that it closes our minds to what we don’t know.” Adam Grant, author of Think Again
Change is happening all around us. Businesses are closing or switching to remote work. Most schools now teach part of their curriculum online. Plus, many of us are all too familiar with that sinking feeling of forgetting our mask when it is required for entry.
Heraclitus was correct; change is a constant.
Why then do many of us spend so much energy resisting the inevitable?
Why is it so hard to get past our fears and learn something new?
It is only reasonable to accept what is not going away, especially from a small business perspective. With the constant barrage of sales calls and popup ads, it has become the default to close the door to anything new. Even when what is known isn’t fully meeting our needs.
Below are seven reasons we should seek, accept and even sometimes embrace the changes that cross our paths. Because if we don’t, we will never know what we don’t know.
1. Furthering Our Education
I’m not referring to finally getting that master’s degree. I am talking about something much more important. The lifelong commitment to education. This is when one remains open to new information. Like learning how many bones are in the human body when sitting in your Uber. ~206 bones
The passion for attaining new knowledge allows us to never stop learning.
We can easily translate this into our business. Just look at the way client and customer management has evolved over the past decade with the proliferation of CRMs and new channels such as chat and text.
Some would argue that employee retention has changed dramatically within the last 2-3 years, with some news articles referring to a phenomenon called “The Great Resignation.”
Even more, marketing shifts through a complete metamorphosis every few months. Have you seen why Facebook has changed its name to “Meta?”
It can feel more comfortable to keep running your business the same way you always have. But comfortable doesn’t always equate to better.
2. Emotional Intelligence
The concept of Emotional Intelligence or EQ has made its way through social media channels and bookstores all over the world. However, the most impact it can have on society is at work.
Let me explain.
Imagine being at work and you are having a good day; everything is running smoothly. Then all of a sudden, you get an email that the multi-million dollar sales contract fell through. We become angry and fearful. It is our very human instinct to react to fear. This is how we define stress.
Stress is when our thoughts are aligned with a potential consequence instead of the outcome we desire.
We build emotional intelligence by accepting the ebbs and flows of the storm. Having a big picture and accepting changes ties into our beliefs, which better prepare us to handle setbacks. Your coworkers appreciate this as well.
3. Goal Completion
It may seem counterintuitive that seeking and exploring new ideas would eventually help you reach your goals faster. But we are not talking about a short sprint.
Similar to education, the act of pursuing change is equal to goal completion. It’s all about the long game! Because often, when we battle our goals, we are resisting change. We might not be aware of this at the time.
Once we accept that change, like when climbing a mountain, we will settle our emotions until we reach the top.
At the base of a mountain, sometimes fears will surface. But your continuing in this mindset is not how to reach the summit. You have to accept that the change will take several hours to complete. When this realization happens, you then begin to relax and enjoy the view.
4. Overcoming Fear of Failure
Avoiding failure is a worldwide phenomenon. It feels safer and more relaxed to not have to learn that new foreign language or new phone system. We equate less responsibility to our own personal comfort. However, this is not how we grow our business or ourselves.
Getting to the heart of why we avoid learning new tools has to do with overcoming our fears. Fear of change. Often it is our fear of failure.
Using the hiking analogy again, sometimes we think there is a mountain to climb. We believe that learning French will be so hard and take so much time to learn. But most of all, we believe we won’t enjoy the journey. Therefore, a person’s belief system becomes accepting change has little benefit.
Just because you are entering unknown territory does not mean it is bad. Give yourself permission to acknowledge and experience fear and then take action anyway!
If you are able to accomplish this, you will be among a very small percentage of human beings that exist today. Most people continue doing things the same way over and over and at the same time, pretending not to care if something better is out there.
The ability to blow past your fear and accept change and failure will allow your business to flourish.
The less you resist change within your organization, the better you will adapt to different outcomes.
“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind, that determines which way we will go.” Jim Rohn
It is often our expectations on a particular outcome that creates strife within us. Many times, when something goes awry, it works out for the better.
Remember when Steve Jobs was unequivocally against making a phone?
Life can take you in a multitude of directions. The more adaptive you are at letting go of control and allowing it to happen, the more naturally your business progression will unfold.
6. Increased Joy
When you accept and embrace change, it allows you to be more proactive instead of reactive. You are no longer the victim where bad things happen. You take ownership and become empowered.
To better illustrate this point, we’re going to look at new intuitive software developments.
Have you ever found yourself needing a piece of information, but not being entirely sure where to find it? You know you spoke to that customer about their order, but was it by email or phone?
It used to be challenging to put customers and potential clients into a spreadsheet to refer to later. Then along came Client Relationship Managers (CRM) and Demand Experience Platforms (DXP). With just a few keystrokes, you are able to store all of your customer details in an organized, user-friendly database that everyone can access.
There are hundreds of examples where new software ends up saving us time. Getting our time back increases our joy. We are mastering a project where we were previously resistant. This win increases our confidence and ability to accept more changes in the future.
7. Owning our Greatness
It is easy to remain stagnant when you settle for “good.” This is one of the reasons why there are so few great happenings in the world. We miss out on opportunities for advancement because we are comfortable with a good life.
This perspective is even more dulled when business owners are only thinking about their own lives. But what could they miss by denying that salesperson that has a great idea? Could the owner deny greatness because of their comforts?
Greatness only comes when we embrace change. When change pushes us from our comfort zone, we become unstoppable.
You are responsible for yourself and your business. Don’t stand in the way of becoming great.
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