Career Success – 5 Ways to Give Yourself the Best Chance of Succeeding at Change

by Linda M. Lopeke

Change, like death and taxes, is one of lifes certainties. Sometimes change is imposed on us; other times we are in the drivers seat. You will be promoted more quickly when you prove your ability to initiate and adapt to change.

Regardless of how and where change originates, there are 5 things you control which make it easier to embrace and that stack the deck in your favor to succeed at change. All require watching your language (and bosses respond well when you do).

1. Speak Specifics

When setting goals relating to change, vague is not in vogue. Always be specific. Be definitive. Be concrete. Ambivalence attacks the belief you can achieve your goal and sucks the energy right out of your desire to persist. You must train yourself to ban phrases like Im trying to do x and Im thinking of doing y. Replace them with Im doing x instead. Be exact about what and when. Im getting my black belt in Lean Six Sigma this May creates much more personal power than Im thinking of doing some more work on Lean Six Sigma.

2. Ditch Denial

Ditch denial of responsibility. Forget fancy talk; keep it simple. Dont put control of events outside of yourself. Use present tense, active voice and indicative mood for greater power. Compare Id like to get it done to Nikes famous example Just do it. You experience greater feelings of mastery and enhance personal effectiveness when you eliminate excuses for evading or reducing your responsibility.

3. Nix Negativity

Nix negative statements. No exceptions! They automatically limit you. Youll start to believe them and instantly hinder your progress. Turn all self-limiting, self-defeating I cant statements into positive ones simply by changing the semantics. I cant becomes I choose to or I havent yet but and Its too late becomes Theres still time to. Reversing negative talk immediately expands your possibilities.

4. Package the Past

Put all previous negative habits and self-defeating behaviors into the past with the phrase I used to be. Let all your ideas of self that arent serving you well go. Dont hang onto them needlessly. Expressing them only in the past tense instantly categorizes them as things that have changed, are changing, or can change. As you think and say so you are.

5. Pitch the Present

Pitch all positive attributes and habits in present tense even if you havent fully mastered them or arent consistently applying them yet. This creates a demand to be congruent by living up to who you say you are and how you see yourselfyou will not become the person you want to be if you are constantly telling yourself Im not this or I cant be or do that. Feel the difference between the person who says I always find a way and the one who always says theres nothing I can do.

Change does not have to be hard. Make it easier on yourself starting today!

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Career advancement expert and professional mentor Linda M. Lopeke is a leading authority on how to succeed on the 21st century workplace and the creator of SMARTSTART Mentoring Programs: Success-to-go for people working @ the speed of life!

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