How are you approaching the New Year? Are you an optimist—someone who naturally interprets situations as being the best—a glass is half full perspective? Sports fans typically begin each new season with a sense of optimism, regardless of the team’s past record of achievement.
I’m inclined to view 2015 from a hopeful perspective instead. Yes, there are real problems and challenges but I believe they can be addressed. Instead of feeling good about my chances for success I would rather believe in my ability to actively make a difference in how this year unfolds.
One of the stickiest issues for any leader is to make personal improvements or changes in one’s life. Everyone knows that change is hard and is often unsuccessful in spite of our best efforts, urgency, and incentives. Being hopeful won’t make that road easier but it does open leaders to the possibilities of new learning about why they get stuck in the first place.
For me that revelation came over the holiday break as I took some time off to refresh and rejuvenate. I read a book about change that offered new insights about how I could use my hopeful perspective to actually address some personal improvement goals.
One thing I learned is how each of us has a built in immunity to change that works against our development plans. In fact, we actually deploy behaviors that sabotage the very goal we are trying to achieve. These behaviors tend to be driven by hidden competing commitments designed to protect us; commitments that are based on big assumptions we have made that may or may not be true.
These new insights have altered my plans for 2015. While I am still committed to personal and business growth, I’m also working on a specific plan to overcome my own immunity to change. Since this is a new process, that I am still learning, there are sure to be bumps in the road. But I’m also hopeful that, with these new tools, 2015 could be the best year ever.