You may be thinking about going back to college for a degree. You may be thinking it’s time to change jobs or strike out on your own. No matter what sort of changes you are contemplating in your life, your biggest obstacle won’t come from within. It will be the naysayers in your life. They stand to undermine you and talk you right out of achieving your dreams even before you begin.
Can you do something about this? Absolutely!
“This year, be prepared for the wet blankets, gloom and doomers and buzz killers,” says Meryl Runion, author of the books Speak Strong and Power Phases.
“Preparation makes the difference. Get armed and ready to get the respect and recognition you deserve. Resolve to develop and grow. Build support for your plans to take yourself to the next level.”
Runion says there are six things you can do that will help you get respect and recognition for your personal and professional makeover action plans.
Create a clear vision. Picture what you and your life will be like once you’ve implemented your resolution. Make your vision detailed and concrete. This will both fuel your resolve and prepare you to paint compelling pictures for others. Imagine a scene with the new you in it. Describe what you’re seeing and saying, who you’re talking to — make it concrete. Put the coffee on the stove and the boots by the door in your vision.
Commit to action. Before you tell anyone what you intend to do, decide what steps you will take to achieve it. Then, measure your resolve. How committed are you? If you’re uncertain, the cynics in your life will pick your plan apart. If you question whether you will do what it takes to succeed, adapt your resolutions until every cell in your body says “This year I WILL…”
Identify your reasons. Make a list of benefits that motivate you to change. This is the “why.” Say, “I will do this because…” List at least five reasons that inspire you.
Anticipate objections. Anticipate the protests, bellyaching and doubts that are likely to come your way. If possible, prepare to explain how your changes will benefit your associates. Fill in the phrase, “I understand you’re concerned that (concern.) I (or others) have shared that concern. I know I will succeed because (reasons.) Plan to use the word “because” liberally.
Share your plans with prepared phrases. Have the phrases ready to use, and adapt as needed. If you lose your focus, just say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it.
Ask for support outright. Say something like, “I’d really like you to help me succeed here. Can I count on you for support?”
Of course there will always be those who are threatened by change and will never respect even a simple declaration and plan of action. Let go of needing to convince anyone. It’s great to have support, but the only person you really need to convince is yourself. These tips will help you convince both yourself and others.
Meryl Runion graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Political Science and received a Masters in the Science of Creative Intelligence from MERU European Research University. Meryl’s seven books about character-based communication have sold 350,000 copies worldwide (Power Phrases, Perfect Phrases for Leadership Development, Perfect Phrases for Managers and Supervisors, How to Restore Sanity, and others).