Early on in my triathlon career, I raced in a couple of Ironman races which are comprised of a 3800 metre swim, 180 kilometre bike ride and a 42.2 kilometre run; yes a long day of racing. Being a naturally competitive athlete, I never felt like I was “racing” when participating in long distances races, and never liked finishing in the middle of the pack.)
I started feeling like I was wasting my time, energy and resources racing. Then I had a change in perspective. I realized that while I was racing in all those long distance races, I was building up a strong endurance engine and at the same time neglecting my strengths—my speed. So I revamped my training, focusing on shorter and faster races where I had more natural talent and it paid off. I made it to the world stage, earning the right to represent Canada at the World Triathlon Championships. Mission accomplished with a small change in perspective.
As organizations go through tremendous changes, most people tend to focus on the negative and this is primarily to do with the neural wiring of our brains and how we are conditioned to view change. An example of this is how we view “the glass”. Is the glass half full or half empty? I am sure you have been asked this question once or twice. A positive or negative perspective will change how we view the glass and the actions we take.
With the rapid pace of change facing many organizations, there are daily practices you can start to incorporate to help you and your team change perspective towards taking positive productive action.
Stop trying to be a perfectionist
If you find yourself trying to make sure everything is perfect, you will struggle to keep a positive perspective during organizational changes. For example, moving a project forward with a plan that is only 80% complete will ensure your plan is agile enough to adjust for unforeseen changes, enabling you to deliver desirable results on time rather than waiting for a 100% completed plan that could cause you to miss deadlines and new opportunities. Given the rapid pace of change and the need to be responsive to it, 100% perfection is something from the past.
Take positive action
Closely related to the issue of being a perfectionist, is an individual or a team who does a lot of talking and thinking but takes very little positive action. Taking positive action is the only way you will shape your perspective when it comes to any change within your company or industry. The reason for this is that we naturally learn through experiences, not through sitting around talking about what we should do, or the good old days. There is a reason those days are behind us. Focused positive action will ensure your perspective remains real and constructive.
Whether you journal or just spend time at the end of your day talking to your partner about what you are grateful for, gratitude helps to ensure you keep a positive perspective about changes. This simple step will prevent you from slipping into negative thought patterns.
Is that glass half full or half empty? How do you turn lemons into lemon aid? The reality is, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is evolving your perspective to see all the new opportunities in any change or challenge you face.
All the best in achieving your highest performance,
Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net