by Mark Sanborn
Change is a constant. (Ho hum.) But if you know that, what are you doing about it?
If you are committed to making your best even better, you won’t just react to change, you’ll create it.
In this blog series, I’ve been sharing tips from my new book, The Potential Principle, on where to focus on improvement by using the four areas of the Potential Matrix—the performing quadrant, the learning quadrant, the thinking quadrant, and the reflecting quadrant. Now I will share four powerful tools you can use in all these areas to create breakthrough improvement and move closer to realizing your full potential. The first tool is this:
Disrupt yourself before someone or something else does it for you.
If change hits you from some other source—say, a disruptive technology, company, or nation—you’ll find yourself scrambling to adapt. You’ll be struggling to catch up rather than striving to stay ahead. But what if you’re the one bringing the change? What if you’re the one driving the innovation? That makes you the game changer!
Think about the habits, practices, and routines in your life that need to be shaken up a bit. It’s human nature to become complacent and keep doing things the way you’ve always done them. But people who are dedicated to self-improvement unsettle complacency, combat mediocrity, and challenge the status quo, both in themselves and in those around them. They keep growing, and they keep the people in their families and companies growing as well.
Are you doing things that used to succeed but no longer work as well, if at all? Are you spending valuable time on unproductive activities, when that time could be better invested elsewhere?
What is the ratio between your “daydreaming” and your “daily doing”? You can plan and prepare too much if it prevents you from taking action. And sometimes it’s good to recognize that a daydream is really just a fantasy and you’d be better off focusing your energy on more important goals.
Maybe you’re spinning your wheels in unhealthy relationships. This can be the hardest area of your life to disrupt. But if someone is influencing you negatively, you might need to change, limit, or end your relationship with them.
Disrupting yourself will make you stronger. The path to progress and success isn’t a leisurely walk through the countryside. It’s a rocky, steep path of resistance—and resistance develops muscle. Breaking up patterns and unsettling stable but humdrum practices can result in new enthusiasm, energy, and opportunities.
If you want to be the best you can be, don’t let someone or something else change your game.
Be proactive and disrupt the things that need to change in your life.