People don't Change... They Evolve!
We all have traits that make us unique… the ability to be innovative, detail-oriented, visionaries, task-masters, …etc. These qualities make us successful when dealing with the many challenges of change. However, we also have emotional struggles that often sabotage our ability to perform efficiently, which - when neglected, ignored or disregarded - impact negatively on our aspiration-performance cycle. Therefore…
- Changing people doesn’t work: To change implies becoming a different person or changing a significant characteristic. For example, this could entail trying to change an individual from being introverted to being extraverted. An introverted individual prefers to work alone and recharges by doing activities independently. They thrive on solitary time. To change them into an extravert by forcing them to work in constant collaboration with people and/or continually be around people without breaks, would push them into an and to work against their natural strengths and default archetype. It would ultimately not work and make the individual unhappy and frustrated. S/he might be able to sustain the change for some time but eventually would go back to his/her natural and preferred archetype.
- Evolving people does work: To evolve means that we are choosing and deciding to make adjustments that work more efficiently for us to improve our performances. Using the example of an introvert, they may find that their introverted nature is sometimes hindering their success, because they are having a hard time functioning in a group, speaking up in discussions and/or struggling to function in social settings. They need to gradually evolve into someone who can “fake extraversion” when required. For them - stepping into their power - could be to share their knowledge and life with people, make deeper connections with others and enhance communications. These slight adjustments allow for growth without compromising their natural inclinations and default archetype.
The benefit is that an introvert will likely find they enjoy being around people, being heard and sharing ideas as long as it’s not too often and they get frequent breaks from interacting with other people. An introvert “faking extraversion” when needed, compel themselves to become a better version of themselves. They will still thrive on natural introversion traits but will be able to adjust to extraversion to obtain better results. The reverse is also true for extraverts, spending less time with idle chatting, and setting more time aside to contemplate and “think about” what is important.
Realizing that we are constantly working to evolve ourselves is an integral aspect of life's journey and critical to eventual success. When acknowledging that it’s not a change, but an evolution, enables us to allow for growth through trial-and-error. This gives us the needed courage to fail and learn lessons from both the successes achieved and the mistakes made. When we make it about change, it’s a black-and-white rigidity. With a mindset of change, we are set up to fail because it’s impossible to change who we really are. However, with an evolving mindset, we have the freedom and ability to succeed, because it’s working gradually from our strengths while managing our weaknesses effectively, which ultimately leads - not only to bigger gains - but to a more satisfying created life. Most important: the aim is not to evolve for anyone else's sake… this is a selfish endeavour. We can only step into our own power when we create better versions of ourselves for our own and well-being. And from that hard work, we find that everyone grows around us as well.
Don’t attempt to change, strive to evolve. Try to step into your personal power so that you can become a better version of yourself to excel from good to great, to magnificent! By using our natural strengths and being willing to work outside of our current comfort zone, the possibilities of success are limitless. Plus, the emotional self-sabotage is greatly reduced as well.
To evolve imply… illuminating issues, highlighting obstacles, questioning dogmas, exploring perspectives, determining context, investigating suggestions and advice, identifying possibilities and seeking out alternatives. It is the individual him/herself who has to decide what to adopt and what not to adopt, what to accept, reject and how to apply it in his/her personal and/or professional life. The goal should never be to change anyone. It is rather a question of guiding people towards authentic self-knowledge, which implies living in their full potential and being the best that they can be… an evolutionary process1) that continues throughout our lives.