Change. It’s a scary thing, and fears associated with change often cause people to just give up.
But how scary is not making a change? Let me ask you to try this. Pick up a 50-pound rock and carry it around with you. No, not just for a few seconds, or even a few hours. Do it forever. That’s what an unexecuted change can feel like. It weighs you down, potentially adversely affecting other areas of your life.
Just how much is maintaining the status quo costing you? Like Coach John Wooden said, “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”
Here’s how a lack of change can affect seven fundamental areas of your life:
1. Psychological wellness
That rock that you are carrying around can cause all kinds of stress for you. You might be feeling irritable, sad, helpless or even worthless. And not making change can cause your self-esteem to plummet.
It takes mental energy to not do something, even though you know it would be helpful. The result? Reduced focus, concentration, creativity and mental acuity.
2. Physical Health
That 50-pound weight affects your physical health, too. The anxiety can cause headaches, backaches, GI issues, chest pains or even more colds (due to a suppressed immune system).
And the mental stress can also affect your physical health — think Ben & Jerry’s therapy or head-hits-the-pillow-and-my-mind-takes-off syndrome.
If the change you are avoiding has to do with a relationship, what is that costing you? Are you settling for “comfortable” at the cost of having a healthy and positive relationship?
A lot of successful entrepreneurs and executives who put their personal lives on hold while developing their businesses and careers rationalize their choices. They rationalize: “I might not spend my time with my spouse or family, but I am working hard to give them a good lifestyle.”
Yes, you have been working hard. But a lack of personal connection with loved ones, while giving them monetary support, can lead to divorce from your spouse or entitlement from your child — two ways to find yourself miserable.
Is staying the same in your business making you lose money? Is not expanding preventing your company from growing?
A client who just launched her business told me she couldn’t afford an assistant so early in the process. To explore the validity of that belief, I asked her to document all the things an assistant could do for her and put a price tag to each line. The result? An estimated 150 percent return on investment. Turned out she was wrong. And when she actually did hire an assistant, her ROI was over 200 percent.
Maybe you’ve been avoiding “fun.” Many entrepreneurs think, “I’ll have fun when I am successful.”
But research shows something quite different. Fun promotes happiness, and positive psychology shows us how important that is to our work. Sales increase 37 percent, work engagement boosts and productivity enhances by 31 percent.
The changes you are not making may very well be leading to a lack of financial growth in your business or personal life.
One client was “too busy” to keep tabs on her profit and loss. When she finally did, she found more than $325 of unnecessary monthly expenses.
It is tough to be the true you, to apply your values and strengths, when you are stressed out. And when we are not our authentic selves, we often behave in unhealthy ways: excessive shopping, substance abuse, over-eating. A life of purpose and meaning is easier to achieve when you do not have stressors, like a needed change, holding you down.
When you make the changes to become the real you, an energetic shift occurs in both you and those around you.
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