Jun 15, 2011

Managing Change? But We Can't Even Change What's Hurting Us!?


On some days I can not believe how much I, my smart successful clients, friends (or all of us) get stuck in old way of thinking or acting. The problem becomes hot when it starts hurting (killing) our business, family, life dreams, goals and savings.

Sometimes we do not admit what is wrong, especially if that wrong seemed right until recently, or was working just fine until last year, last month, or before the hell broke loose at work, at home and in the bank.

Why is it we can not admit the ugly truth, or accept help, even when we asked for it first? Top executives are concerned with managing change , but why is so hard to change at personal level?

I had to look for answers, not because I decided to become a shrink, but had to understand what is driving or stopping me, and people around me, even when we know (and we say) we have to change?

Is it the ego, fear, habit?

Here is the great analogy to help you understand the rigid nature of your unconscious and how fearful it is of change. I found it in Dr. Irene Kassorla's book ''Go For It''. (Dr Kassorla is known as therapist to the stars, but I enjoyed her style of writing, examples and analogies.)



The Caretaker in Your Castle


''In order to become more effective in dealing with your problems and leaving behind your losing skills, you will need to contend with the persona of your stubborn ego.

Your ego resembles a strange, old caretaker in an ancient castle who shuffles around, day and night, guarding the halls of your unconscious.

His job is to inspect your behaviors and make certain that nothing around you changes.

For him, not changing means that ''all is well.''

Your caretaker feels comfortable clinging to the status quo. He sees to it that you do everything in the same way that you have for years. (He keeps his job.)

He is like a dog sniffing a tree to find a familiar scent. Unless he recognizes a precedent for your actions, he won't sanction them.

Even if your life patterns have made you a perennial loser, he is quite satisfied to have you continue in your unsuccessful rut.

''If you change,'' he says, ''something terrible is going to happen to you. Listen to me. I've kept you safe all these years, haven't I? It may have been afwul, but at least you're alive.. Beware! if you change....you will die!

Be sensible and do it the same as you have all this time...We have survived all these years doing like this.

And you've been safe with me right here advising you. Besides you know what we have now, but you don't know what will happen with that new stuff.

Why take a chance?

Why take the risk of changing to something unproven? It's far too dangerous!''

It is your unconscious guard who is causing most or your fears and confusing dreams. His ploy is to frighten you so much that you will NEVER change. Don't listen to his voice.



The Old Caretaker in New Regime


Once you move into action and your fear diminishes you will need to ''keep an eye out for that ancient caretaker acting up and trying to pull you away from being motivated and achieving.

Remember he wants to get back to the comfortable loser castle that was his familiar place.

Several months after you changed something and are enjoying rewards of new business, interpersonal or family situation YOU STILL NEED TO STAY ON GUARD!

Because of your long term fear, it will not be easy to completely shed your old ways.

Whenever a significant new win occurs, there will be a tendency for your fears to mount and for you to undermine your progress. you may even try to sabotage yourself and slip back.

Don't worry. This, too will be temporary. Keep your eye on your goals. Don't be detoured from your winning route.''


Maybe this will help you fire your ''castle caretaker'', be more compassionate towards yourself and others you lead, help you get out of the losing skills, or be more patient with your team member boss, client, (who you would like to change in 5 minutes).

I am pretty sure you have already experienced frustration or disappointment with someone who can not change even when losing. Maybe it was you. Maybe you have a story to share? I just hope it will help as it helped me.

To get more articles, updates, free or special offers, to download my e-book''Productive Executive/Manager - Manage Interruptions at Work'', or get new video course ''How to Present Better Than Ever & Anyone'' join the mailing list if you haven't done so already.


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