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5 Reasons Why People and Organisations Fail to Change

Helping people and organisations bridge the gap from where they are now to where they need to be is what keeps us at Harmonics ticking. Many people and organisations fail to change when they need to. When change is the only constant in our lives today, why is it the case?

Here are the 5 most common reasons, I see in our coaching practice, why people don’t change:

  1. We don’t see ourselves realising our goals. We discount ourselves as amateurs and not worthy of visualising success or having the potential required to become successful. That “little old me” gremlin thinking stops us because of something someone said to us at some stage along the way to reinforce the belief we are not “powerful beyond measure” (to quote Marianne Williamson). Visualisation has proved critical in assisting high performance athletes to achieve their goals. It is a powerful technique that few people use in the corporate world.
  2. We don’t persevere in pursuit of our goals. When there are tough days, when we get let down, when it doesn’t go right for us, we simply give up. To make transformational change happen for ourselves or on a change project at work, we will face great resistance. That is why it is transformational; otherwise it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Perseverance and a sense of self-belief are required so we are ready for whatever life throws at us to enable us get through it. Like any sports player in a game, we have to be prepared to stand up and be counted in achievement of our goals.
  3. We don’t want to rock the boat. Chasing our goals means we will have to make sacrifices and losing our best friends along the way may be one of them. When we change, our friends and colleagues feel threatened because they do not want us to change. Change needs to come from within and we should be strong enough not be fearful of criticism and what others say. Seek out others who have already rocked the boat and learn from them not from those who play it safe and seek approval from everyone.
  4. We don’t want to be found out and fail in public. Think of a kicker in a big game with all 80,000 people in the stadium training their eyes to see if the kicker will strike it between the posts or not. Standing out is a scary place to be as there are only two results – success or failure. Goal kicking is a lonely practice as footballers spend hours and hours on their own refining techniques that will work for them. Goal kickers focus consistently on practicing and perfecting their art in pressure situations. They challenge their comfort zones and grow as a result.
  5. We don’t see it as important enough to go full out for it. This happens when we are not connected emotionally enough to our goal. We would like to see the change happen but, if we look at ourselves critically, we know deep down we haven’t really put everything on the line to make it happen. Jockey AP McCoy, a fearsome competitor and winner, said recently that when he looked around the weigh room he knew no one had worked harder than him to achieve their goals. AP was extreme in his pursuit of winning; nevertheless you have to give it absolutely everything to make transformational change happen in any walk of life.

John Fitzgerald is the Founder of the Harmonics Group. Harmonics specialise in helping Organisations plan for change, manage change and support their people through change.

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