‘Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.’ Anthony Robbins.
Most of us know what it’s like to be in a relationship that has run its course. We know it’s over but we have developed a certain level of comfort with the situation that keeps us there. The same applies to being in a job we hate; it’s easier to whinge and moan than find a new job. And believe it or not, I see a lot of people in a business that is struggling, that has always struggled, often because of flawed and limiting beliefs that hold the business on struggle street, because they have become comfortable with whinging and moaning rather than doing something about it.
So the big question I want to ask here is: have you become comfortable with the struggle in your business?
Now, some of you might read that and think it’s a crazy question to ask. I get that. But from my experience, there are actually a great number of business owners who would really like to be financially successful but they have actually settled into a very comfortable, never-ending struggle, where it’s much easier to keep telling the story about how hard things are in business and how tough its been and the sacrifice that they have made than do something fairly significant and courageous about it. This is hand-on-heart stuff, and I’m not judging for a second. I get it. It’s hard, and I know the power of being comfortably in a negative cycle.
I used to call this the small business owner’s badge of honour. You would sit in a circle with a few other business owners seeing who has gone the longest without a holiday to prove who has suffered the most. Thank goodness this thinking is changing.
We will usually only take major action for two reasons: the first is that we finally have enough of a situation, or secondly, something significant happens that makes us decide to change once and for all. I think it’s fair to say we are familiar with both. But change rarely sticks unless we have a long, hard talk to ourselves.
I often think about a friend of mine, a lifelong smoker. He got a terrible cough, and when he visited his doctor, he received the prognosis that he probably had emphysema. He walked out of the doctor’s clinic, threw his cigarettes in the bin, and went off to have a series of tests. It was three weeks before he went back to see the doctor, and in that time he didn’t have a cigarette and he didn’t even crave one. Expecting the worst, he sat nervously in the waiting room, until finally he was called in, only to be told that he didn’t have emphysema, just a bad chest infection.
Now, the doctor went on to tell him that he was on the path to getting emphysema and worse, but my friend didn’t hear that. He left the clinic and bought a package a cigarettes and immediately started smoking again.
When my friend thought he was in imminent danger, he reacted immediately and stopped smoking. When he realised the situation wasn’t as bad as it could have been, that the danger was probably far in the future, he saw no reason to change and went back to his old behaviours.
Has something significant happened that is going to make you change, or have you just had enough of your current situation? Either way, it’s up to you to make change happen.
Have you become a little too comfortable with the struggle in your business?
If you’re sick and tired of struggling, or always battling to make ends meet, or feeling undervalued and unappreciated, you have to get uncomfortable enough to change. And that is harder than it sounds, especially if you’ve been struggling for decades. Get grumpy, get angry, get frustrated, just don’t feel nothing, especially if that’s what you’ve been feeling for years.
The real problem is we are often more comfortable struggling than we are with abundance. And that’s what really needs to change. Acknowledging this is a step in the right direction.