To most people, change is a diabolical thing.

Nothing seems to threaten people's existence or cement their resistance more than change does.

But the fact is that all of us need to accept change, not merely for the sake of change itself, but for the sake of our lives.

Not only accept change, but embrace it.

Without change, there can only be status quo. And even in the best of circumstances, status quo is a myth, because it can never be sustained.

Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not.

If your business is to grow, it must change.

It follows then that if the people in your business are resistant to change and, more importantly, if the owners of the business (you?) are resistant to change, the company's ability to grow will be stymied.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the situation that exists in most small businesses I've encountered over the past 40 years.

Most small business owners would rather live with the problems and frustrations they already have rather than risk facing new ones.

And many times they're not even aware of it.

As you look around you, don't you find this to be true of most of the people you know?

That rather than being open to the infinite number of possibilities life offers, they prefer to stay within what they perceive to be safe, respectable limits?

When the opportunity arises to try something new or to go in a different direction, how many different excuses have we all heard to ward off the change? Excuses, disguised as logical reasons, such as:

Now's not the right time.

Things are fine as they are. Why rock the boat?

We're not ready for that yet.

My people couldn't handle that.

It's too risky.

And on and on.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you do every new thing that comes along or seize every new opportunity that is presented to you.

If we fail to embrace change, however, we will miss those transformative opportunities and our businesses will be unable to grow.

To change the way we think about change, the way we approach it, and our relationship to it requires introspection and a new paradigm.

Recognize when your own inner state is one of being open and expanded or one of being closed and contracted.

When you're closed and contracted, you're more likely to be fearful, suspicious, skeptical, and resistant.

On the other hand, when you're open and expanded, you're more likely to be joyful, interested, curious, and willing.

The more contracted we are, the more threatened by change; the more expanded we are, the more open to change.

Not surprisingly, we live our lives on a continuum between these two states--rarely completely closed or completely open; therefore, we can view change as the movement from one toward the other, and back again.

Another way to express this is that change is the movement between where we are and where we're not, with only two directions this movement can take: more open, which propels us forward, or more closed, which pushes us back.

When you can recognize where you are along this continuum at any given moment, it frees you to choose a different response and a different direction: open or closed; forward or back.

Remember that change is where opportunity lives.

Without change, you and your business will stay exactly where they are, frozen in time.

With change, all things become possible!

Which direction will you choose?

Published on: Dec 5, 2016
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of