Over the next couple of weeks, we will review changes and transitions. Throughout a career in medicine, we face many of those. Today we are going to focus on changes related to you.
Change can be defined as doing things differently, taking new approaches, seeking something new and/or different in yourself.
Reflect just a minute on your life and career. Make a couple of lists.
What changes do you desire?
What changes are you directing?
What things are you contemplating changing?
What changes did you not ask for?
Are there changes you feel "should" be made, but you really still have a foot stuck in the pre-contemplative stage?
Today we zero in on the changes you want to make.
We use the stages of change with our patients (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance). Today, I'm asking you to assess yourself one by one in the list you made.
Of the items you listed, which one seems to be an excellent combination of being ready for preparation/action combined with a sense of priority? Let's reflect on that one for this series. For those of you facing a change you didn't ask for, stay tuned for next week.
Some of the preparation is to just remind yourself of common principles of change. Ken Blanchard, a leadership development consultant, lists several, but I will highlight a couple here.
1. Change feels awkward. (Awkward is normal – nothing is going wrong.)
So, what strategies can you use for yourself to make the change and the momentum?
There are many excellent books with different perspectives out there. I want to emphasize a few essential parts of making a change that sticks.
I've talked a bit in the past about how our thoughts of a circumstance lead to feelings that drive our actions or inactions, which ultimately give us our results. This is Key in effecting and maintaining change.
As physicians, we are great at action step design. However, we need to dig a bit deeper. Actions by themselves won't happen or last. Let's compare where you are currently to where you want to be.
Let's work it backward:
This is the mindset work. This is why most people don't change, or if they do, they revert right back. Change takes effort; we like the familiar; change is awkward and can seem hard. To overcome those things, we need 1. our big why and 2. to choose to believe thoughts that will deliver us the emotions to sustain the change.
In the next couple of weeks, we will tackle more action steps and transitions, even when they weren't planned.
Have a joy-filled day!
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