Hovering is for Hummingbirds – Not You!

Redesigning and relaunching my website earlier this month reacquainted me with a truth I learned many years ago: We either move forward in life or we slip backward. Unlike hummingbirds, we can’t hover!

Handling change successfully is difficult for almost everyone. I’m no exception. As work began on the many changes needed to improve my website, half of me argued, “It’s fine just the way it is. Why bother?” Meanwhile, the other voice in my head challenged me, “You waited too long as it is. Keep going!”

Even change that we initiate ourselves can be uncomfortable. We want things to improve, yet we cling to the old ways. I wanted to update my website—I just didn’t want to face the changes necessary to do the job.

The writer Dorothy Parker described this dilemma best. Asked if she liked to write, she once said, “No, I like to have written.” To paraphrase Parker, I like to “have changed.”

I’ve discovered that the best way to begin making a change is to trick myself into it. For example, to guarantee that the website would be made over, I took an important action: I hired a designer, and this forced my hand. Once I had plunked down my deposit, there was no going back without losing my investment! Now it was forge ahead or regress. Either option would cause me discomfort; I had to decide which one would be more tolerable. As you’ll see if you visit my website, I chose to move ahead.

Maybe you’re better than most at dealing with change and don’t need to resort to self-trickery. If so, I envy you! However, if there are changes you would like to make in your circumstances but you’re stalled, I suggest asking yourself, What action can I take that will guarantee I’ll begin the journey?”

Another way to initiate the process of change is to make a commitment for the delivery date to someone whose opinion matters highly to you.

Years ago, I knew I wanted to write a weekly column. However, no one was waiting for it, and I kept finding more important things to do. I knew I had to take drastic measures. The next time a potential client asked me for a training proposal, I included among my promised deliverables a weekly column to reinforce my teachings even after the training session was long over. When the proposal was approved, I was forced to write the column and have been at it nearly every week since early 2003!

I can’t tell you what a gift that particular change has been for me. By setting down my thoughts each week, I not only improve my own life, I receive loving emails from readers who tell me when a column has helped them, too.

Likewise, my redesigned website contains elements I’ve long wanted to include: new inspirational and practical resources to promote your personal development and your happiness at work, some of my management articles, and more. And of course there are still the best of my Silverisms™ and a four-year archive of my columns!

“Hovering” to elude change is seductive; sometimes we just want to rest on our laurels. But if you’re rather slippery about getting started on the road to what you want, consider my tricks to “trap” yourself into moving forward. You can either progress or regress, and “having changed” is so much more satisfying

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