Merge's Blog

Positive change doesn’t come from watching, it comes from doing

I often blog about the difficulties that arise when trying to make positive change, both at a personal and professional level, most recently in this post – Leading change you don’t agree with? Rise above your emotions.  So here is yet another viewpoint on this continuing leadership challenge.

Has this ever happened to you?

  • Top View of Business Shoes on the floor with the text: Do It.You signed up for a gym membership but you stopped going after the first few weeks?
  • You bought the healthy eating cookbook, but it’s languishing on a shelf in your kitchen?
  • You attended a training course, took copious notes, but never actually used the tips you wrote down so carefully?
  • You went to the doctor for an ailment, got a prescription but never filled it. Or maybe you went so far as to get the meds, but then never remembered to take them.

Change doesn’t come from watching, it comes from doing.  You won’t get stronger, healthier, smarter, or better if all you are is a spectator.  If you want to be exceptional – a leader, a role model, a person – then you have to become a player, a participant, a contributor.  What will it take to move you from spectator to participant, to shift you from watching to doing?  Or maybe the right question is “what’s getting in the way?”

Here are some of my (not-so-good) reasons for still being a spectator:

  • It’s easier to stay with the status quo
  • If I don’t see positive results fast enough, I lose interest
  • I get busy with other day-to-day responsibilities
  • I have good intentions but I just can’t seem to find the time

And here are two things I do to stop being a spectator, to move me from watching to doing:

  • Pick one thing to focus on and keep with it for at least two weeks, after which it becomes somewhat of a habit
  • Tell someone else what I am planning to do as a way to keep myself accountable (because they’re likely to ask me about my progress)

So what shifts you from spectator to participant?  What’s getting in your way?  Please share your responses by adding a comment.

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