When I worked with Jack recently, he told me "I'm not happy here, but how do I know if I'll be any happier somewhere else?"
This dilemma resulted in him choosing to stay still, as a better alternative to an unknown move. In his eyes, the risk of upheaval, was too great, and he feared that the change would be no better. He could not see any benefit of making that change that would outweigh his unhappiness where he was.
Here's a useful formula if you're not sure whether a change is worth risking:
COST (now) x VISION (of future) + BELIEF (that it's possible) > COST (of Change)
The trouble is that you probably have a huge unknown in that equation - like Jack, how do you know in advance if the change will bring you the benefit that you want? So staying still seems like the best option, or maybe that should be the 'least worst' option.
If you're in this position, then taking some time to explore each of the components of the equation in more detail, and to fill in some of the unknowns, can really help you to make a better, more proactive choice.
Take a moment to write down how you feel about each of the four components:
When you really understand the cost of staying still versus the cost of changing AND the benefit of changing you will feel much more in control of your choice.
I helped Jack to explore the changes he wanted to make in more detail, guiding him through some of the questions which he hadn't thought to explore, yet which shone a light on some of the specifics that would make any change compelling and desirable for him.
He was able to list his own set of 'must haves' that would make any potential change worth pursuing. In his case, he realised that to be happier elsewhere, his new environment had to meet some specific non-negotiables to do with ethics, principles and values. He was surprised to discover that he was happy to compromise to a certain extent on salary and benefits as long as these other conditions were met.
Jack's light-bulb moment came in realising that it hadn't occurred to him to use his ethics, principles and values as the litmus test for finding the change that would suit him most. Once he'd worked out what was most important to him, it was easy to apply the change equation to decide if any opportunity that came his way would be worth pursuing.
We can help you to work through your own change equation for yourself. Join us in February 2017 for Illuminating Your Future: a 4 Day Personal Development Retreat in Fuerteventura.
About Madeleine Allen: The author is a specialist in Leadership, Communication and Personal Development for business professionals. An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.nlpedinburgh.co.uk)
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