Posts tagged with ‘principles of change’

04 sep

Problem Generating vs. Problem Solving: Choosing the Right Path to Confidence and Success

Kerrigan2Life is filled with change. It is also filled with choice. Success is largely based on the choices we make when facing change.

Many of the changes we face are not welcome and quite challenging, such as getting laid off; going through a restructuring; and doing more with less at work. And, many of us believe that if we worry enough, we can control the outcome.

Well, we can’t. No one can. The only thing we control is ourselves, and how we react to change: Our thoughts and actions. Confidence is all about self control.

When we face change, we come to a fork in the road, and choose from 2 paths: The problem generating path and the problem solving path.

The problem generating path is where we create problems by being too negative. We lose confidence on this path, and we lose our way. It’s where we:

  1. Dwell on the past
  2. Worry about the future
  3. Doubt ourselves
  4. Shut down
  5. Get stuck

“Dwell” is the operative word here. It’s natural to feel anxious and fearful at first. In fact, discomfort often drives change. But, when we dwell on the negative, we mentally go around and around and come out at the same place—nowhere.

Let’s take getting laid off and having to job hunt as an example. Dwelling on the negative may sound like this: “Eh—it’s still the summer—not a great time to look for a job. I really don’t feel like doing this. I really miss my old team. I hate interviewing. I hate networking. I’m not good at either. I’m still upset that they let me go. Is there something wrong with me? Can I really do this? What if I can’t find anything? What if I fail?”

Sound familiar? Doesn’t get us very far, does it?

Now, let’s look at the problem solving path. When we problem solve, we gain confidence. We move forward and succeed. It’s on this path that we:

  1. Acknowledge and accept our fears
  2. Take control—talk ourselves through it
  3. Begin to think positively
  4. Ask “What are our next steps?”
  5. Take action
  6. Turn fear and doubt into planning and action

This path helps us deal instead of dwell. We take control, think empowering thoughts, ask better questions and take action.

It may sound like this: “OK—I might not be thrilled with job hunting, but I’m not going to let that stop me. First, I’m going to educate myself about the companies that I like. Then, I’m going to brush up on my interview skills and reach out to my connections and ask ‘Who can help me?’”

See how it changes? Which path holds us back and which one takes us forward and closer to our goals?

Change is coming at all of us at breakneck speed, and the velocity is increasing. Who knows what the future will bring?

So, our ability to deal with change –by making better choices, and problem solving, not problem generating —will have a big impact on our confidence and success.

It’s time to take control–we are in for the ride of our lives!

Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert consultant and coach in workplace success who helps corporate and private clients develop the practical skills and confidence they need to improve their performance and productivity.

Based on her 25 years’ leadership experience, Michelle provides an invaluable road map for conquering fear and doubt, navigating change and solving day-to-day challenges. Michelle writes and speaks on the impact self esteem has on success, and produces a series for public TV, entitled Workplace Confidence. More at and

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Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on September 4th, 2013 in Career, Global/Social Change, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

17 feb

The Seventh Secret of Change

Finding your Spirit where tranquility, ideas and wisdom live.

People who successfully navigate change know they are connected to something bigger than themselves.

When everything around you is changing, look for that part of yourself that doesn’t change, the part that is calm, centered and always there.

You can tell people who have Spirit. You can also tell companies that have Spirit. Nothing religious going on here, its just a sense of aliveness, of joy, of doing something that matters, that makes a difference, that helps. It’s a commitment to going beyond the material, the rules, what’s expected and going with a different form of guidance. Often it’s inner guidance, a nudge, a knowing of the right thing to do next, a strong intuition. We all put far greater value on intellect, on the mind, we cling to being clever, on knowing. Finding your spiritual side is about being open to not knowing, to being empty so that a new idea, direction, person can come into your life. It’s about finding a different sense of peace, tranquility that doesn’t depend on getting a deal, making the money or any form of external marker.

All great leaders, heroes, athletes, regular people who have touched us in some way believe in something greater. They don’t all define it the same way, or have the same word for it, but everyone I have interviewed eventually says some version of “something bigger was going on.” All types of change, whether it is personal or professional at some stage make us go looking on the inside. We find ourselves reconnecting to our intuition, our heart, our faith, our connection with another part of our self, perhaps our “higher self” that we have so often forgotten.

Infusing life and our work or business with spirit is about going with our intuitions, that part of us that is connected to a different, unnamable source of wisdom. It’s about a different intention that goes beyond “getting something” but is about “giving something,” helping, serving, contributing to our fellow human beings. It’s about bringing the energy of kindness, care, love if that doesn’t scare us, to everything we do and everyone we interact with. As Plato said “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” What the world and business need now is a lot more gentleness, gentleness starting even in our communication, emails we send to people, how we interact with the world. We need gentleness with ourselves, stopping the disapproval energy that runs our lives! It’s about stopping the “perfection” cycle and giving ourselves permission to be human.

How do we do this? We start with being comfortable with silence, going inside, taking some time to check in with how something is feeling. Does the deal feel right? Does the website design feel in line with our intuitions? Does this person we want to hire feel right? We feel OK doing nothing, allowing ideas, insights to come through when our minds are not overly busy. We find moments of taking away the incessant noise all around us. Yes, some people call that meditation but that word is also loaded with connotations of sitting in a lotus position chanting. Meditation is only about being with ourselves, away from any distractions, getting back in touch with different parts of ourselves, hearing our deeper truths, re-aligning some aspects of our lives. Infusing our lives and work with Spirit is also about finding our intentions for why we are doing what we are doing. What guides our choices and really our lives? Is it about wanting more or giving more? Power moves through those who serve, not those who are out to get more. Ironically, when we don’t focus on getting approval, or money or fame, that’s often the time when it comes to you in spades.

Finding our spiritual side is about a bigger sense of meaning as to what we have come here to experience. The best advertisement for the spiritual path isn’t about doing a yoga class once a week, wearing a spiritual piece of jewelry or even going to church. The best ad is about being kinder, more compassionate to others, finding any which way to help. We need to ask ourselves, who needs our help today? We are loaded with gifts, ideas, connections that can help others do something good in the world.

I ask myself that question everyday and in so doing, it’s remarkable how many of my challenges, hurdles also get taken care of in parallel. My quiet silent time to be with Spirit, is what I call a “non-negotiable” (together with my health). This means no one and nothing touches this. I don’t start the day before attending to these. They come above everything for me and ensure that I’m effective in all areas of my life.

What are your non-negotiables? How much spirit is alive in your organization or family or job? What feels right as something to get started on to reconnect with this part of yourself that runs through you whether you acknowledge it or not? If you find your spiritual side, the part of you that never changes, is always there, detached from any drama, then life on the outside will become calmer. You will then be plugged into a different source of energy, not only the “little me” trying to keep everything under control, but the bigger source that powers life and nature, that part you may not fully understand, that source where anything is possible and you are not limited by disempowering thoughts or beliefs. Nurture that relationship.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on February 17th, 2010 in Ariane, New Directions, Spirituality, Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in

12 nov

Applying the Change Principles To Your Life

On Monday’s “Conversations with the Masters” call, I really tried to focus the 9 principles of change to what’s going on in most of our lives right now. All those changes we are finding difficult–job losses, relationship issues, financial fears–and also those changes we just wish we could make.

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Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on November 12th, 2008 in Global/Social Change | No comments Read related posts in

09 nov

Conversations with the Masters

I’m excited to be doing a special conference call with life coach Mary Allen at 3:00 p.m. EST today, November 10th.

Sign up here if you want to join us.

During this interview we’ll explore:

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on November 9th, 2008 in New Directions | No comments Read related posts in

02 sep

The 9 Principles of Change (and How You Can Make Them Work For You)

People often ask how to make change easier in their own lives. They want to make a change, have tried it will varying degrees of success, but are still trying to figure out if there’s some magic formula to it all.

Of course, I can’t tell you a secret that will let you snap your fingers and make everything fall into place — but through my research and in conversations with experts and individuals alike, I’ve come up with 9 principles of change that seem to be true of all people who are good at navigating the twists and turns of life. Read them and see which ones apply to you, and which ones you may want to try and use more fully!

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Posted by First 30 Days on September 2nd, 2008 in New Directions | 1 comment Read related posts in

22 may

On the Road

It’s been an exciting time at First 30 Days! My book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change, was picked as an favorite in the Health, Mind and Fitness category. I had an incredible opportunity to kick off a few weeks of press with an appearance on the Today Show. I’ve also recorded a podcast on the 9 Principles of Change outlined in the book, which you can listen to at Written Voices. My schedule is below and I hope that if I’m on in your city, you’ll tune in! My schedule will be updated weekly, so please check back for more appearances soon! And, if you missed anything, check out the press page — we do our best to keep it consistently updated with clips, articles and more! You’ll find recent press from Redbook, BusinessWeek, Tech Crunch and many others.

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Posted by First 30 Days on May 22nd, 2008 in Speaking Events | No comments Read related posts in

06 may

My New Book is Available Today!

My new book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Change (And Loving Your Life More) — is available today in bookstores nationwide and online — it offers nine simple principles to help make any change easier.

Maybe you’ve been through a difficult breakup, received a troubling health diagnosis or lost your job. Perhaps you’re a new parent, received a promotion or started your own business. Positive changes can also be made — have you quit smoking, lost some weight or become more green?

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Posted by First 30 Days on May 6th, 2008 in First30Days Book | No comments Read related posts in