Change your Words: Create your Best Year Yet
Now, it’s my assumption, since you’re interested in reading this post, change is on your agenda. You see a need for it and you have your reasons.
Whether you're in the business world, the world of healthcare, or education, or any of the professions, you'll hear language such as re-engineering, reinvention, repurposing, disruption and these terms come in and out of vogue. Bottom line is: change is viewed as necessary if we are to survive as a planet, a nation, an organization, a family, or an individual – so from a whole systems perspective, we recognize change is here to stay – and has been constant throughout the history of the planet.
So, it would seem a smart thing to make change work for us and be agents of positive change rather than resist and you’ve heard it before – be a dinosaur!
With very many people, mention “change” and the very idea of change provokes feelings of concern, resistance, and anxiety. Yet, in others, change is associated with excitement, adventure, opportunity. It depends on the context and the purpose, and, THEY change all the time. When working with others, being sensitive to how they view change is important to your success.
Some Words Resonate and Some Don't
Let’s step back for a moment and review some words and meanings associated with change across a whole lot of contexts and disciplines. How do YOU perceive change and how do you think others perceive change? It’s worth having a big picture view before getting into the details. And it’s good to have a baseline of where you’re starting from.
Think about all the words that are synonyms for change. You’ll find words that work for you and those that don’t. Some you might see as positive and some as negative, and some are neutral, and some may have no real meaning for you at all. All are legitimate and relevant. Sometimes, it might be useful to change your words.
You might enjoy downloading this worksheet and do the exercise for yourself to determine your take on the words around “change.” What words do you perceive as negative, positive or neutral. This worksheet is one of many worksheets in my online leadership course, Be an Agent for Positive Change. You can find out more by clicking on the banner above.
Making Choices to Reframe the Usual Suspects
Even if you’re a wee bit resistant or skeptical, or are in relationships with people who are, just imagine if you could begin to view change as something that you could embrace even when it’s not desirable. You can learn you way into being positive and making choices to reframe the usual suspects through a practice that will help you make a shift towards the good, the possible, even when you are feeling discomfort, or insecure or vulnerable.
I’m not being Pollyana here. I’m an Australian, with an anglo-saxon cultural imprint of skepticism. In fact, as I was learning this change methodology called Appreciative Inquiry (which changed my life professionally), I challenged my professor with “is this all American have a nice day and have a smiley face hype?” I was struggling to get my head around the principles and sciences of positive change.
And now look at me! I’m a positivity strategist – an agent for positive change. I am teaching it, speaking about it, writing about it, coaching and consulting in this life-centric, life-changing methodology, Appreciative Inquiry, which has been called a positive revolution in change.
Change your Words to Change your Life
The language we use and the stories we tell ourselves inform who we are and how we live our lives. And the role of emotions in changing your brain, your behaviors and your mindset is key to helping us change in positive ways. Paying attention to the words you use, your emotional responses to the topic of change itself can lead to the changes may give your stories different endings and lead to positive results.