January is the month of resolutions, which are usually about change. So often, we yearn for change when we are disgruntled or disappointed. And those feelings can propel us into action.
When change is desired, it's helpful to attend to our side of the street first, as it were. How? Ask these questions...
1. “What’s my part in this?”
Oh, geez, that’s no fun. True. Also true - though most problems are multi-faceted, it’s easy to cast the blame on others. So, to examine our part, we might ask ourselves “Am I co-creating the problem, either actively or passively?” If so, then how might I begin to adjust my side of things?
2. “What can I change?”
In an organization, or a relationship, there are factors we can influence, and so many more that we cannot. Knowing the difference is key. Our energy is misused if we attempt to change things we can’t.
But, that attempt can provide some odd rewards:
- It’s a great distraction from what we should address.
- While fighting things we can’t change, we can feel - gosh, really busy! - even though we're unproductive.
- And, this sort of effort can engender self-righteousness (“well, at least I’m trying to do something about this…”)
Often, a high level of energy or desire for change can create a compulsion to act. If that's the case, pause to ask:
“Must it be solved?”
“Must it be solved by me?”
“Must it be solved, by me, now?”
And, if you’re dying to take action, start with your side of the street - perhaps a change in perspective or attitude. Or, change your approach, your words, or your routine. It's a great start that works wonders. It has for me.