Change, do you believe it yourself?

It's half past four in the morning. I wake up early again and then I often read, trying to get another hour of sleep. But today that doesn't work. The book I'm reading, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, suddenly gives me an insight into what I need to write about NOW. It's about 'Attention'. 

Eline Faber, February 2022


Attention to predecessors

In my advice on change processes, I often use the phrase: “Everything you pay attention to, grows.” My experience is that the forerunners of change in an organization can inspire other people to go along with the change. So if you pay attention to the forerunners, you will also have the followers with you.

In change processes, however, too much attention is often given to the opponents and the laggards. By paying above-average attention to this, the opposition will grow and the change will be much more difficult. That's why I always say: "Watch out, because everything you give attention grows!" But there comes through Napoleon Hill another insight that I had never thought about before. 

Not the other, but I

In change processes we are always talking about someone else. The organization must change, the team must change, the employees must change. It is rarely about I. It is rarely about 'my role in change processes'. While that is the most essential part of the change process. Why is that? Napoleon Hill just gave me the answer.

His book (Dutch adaptation by Michael Pilarcyk) states: “The subconscious makes no difference between constructive and destructive thoughts. It gets to work with the thoughts you put into it. The subconscious mind transforms a fearful thought into reality just as easily as a thought of courage and self-confidence.”

This chapter is about the power of faith and conviction. If you are convinced that something will work for you, then you will succeed. If you are convinced that you will fail, then it will fail.


And yes, I know: this sounds very guru-esque. You may be tempted to give up now. Just wait, because my insight arose when I thought about how this works in practice in change processes. The stupid thing about change processes is that you never know exactly where you are going. You hear from the boss that 'it' has to change and you know what the situation looks like now, but you don't know what it will look like in the future, if 'it' has changed.

Change comes only from two factors: desire or necessity. The question is: who or what causes you to begin to feel a desire or need? I think it is always another person who knows how to convince you that there is a necessity, or who knows how to take you along in the desire to change.

Think about it. Bring back those moments of change and think about who convinced you that things had to change.

The key question now is: How did this person convince you?

There is no other possibility than that this person himself was completely convinced that change was coming. And that this change was either necessary or that there was a great desire to change. This person showed a rock-solid faith. By that absolute conviction, you believed this person and were inspired to go along with this change. 


Now imagine someone who lacks this conviction. Someone who is insecure. Someone who is not very comfortable in his own skin. Who has lost faith in himself over the years. If someone like that says to you: "I think it's better that we change." Do you immediately think: “Well, if you say so, let's go with that banana?” No. Admit it, you don't. You don't believe this person. It does not matter whether what this person says is substantively correct.

This person shows in everything that he doesn't actually believe in it himself.
If he doesn't believe himself already, why should you?
Change is never about ratio. Change is about faith.

There could be so many spreadsheets with information on the table, in the end it's about whether you believe the messenger. And you only believe that person if he believes himself.

Moral of this story

If you are that 'changer', that person who has to convince others that things really have to change, then take care of yourself first. Pay attention to yourself. Because everything you give attention to, grows.
In order to convince others, it is necessary to grow yourself first. Do you have a rock solid faith in the change? Do you believe this change is necessary? Do you have a great desire to change? Only then will you be able to convince others. 

And, what did you think of this article? Leave a comment below this post!

Sharing is Caring

en_GBEnglish (UK)