REASSESSING THE STATUS QUO
Our whole life is about making decisions. Each day of this year, every achievement and failure you have encountered has been based on the biggest and smallest decisions of your life. A while back, a series of events happened to me, my life and business. And while I faced these problems, I was pressed with a more challenging problem of rethinking the status quo. By status quo I mean all the plans I had made, both long and short-term plans. I had heard so many times that I had to stick with my choices and keep going despite everything. So, you can imagine how challenging it was to be in the position where I had to readjust what had become normalcy for me.
No matter the position in which we find ourselves in, be it leadership position, a parent role, being an employee or even being a patriotic citizen of our resident countries, decision-making is a very crucial part of our lives, our love and our labour. We make our choices based on the information we have available to us and how much we will benefit from the choices we make. Usually, because of fear and the possibility of what might happen, we get stuck in rethinking our choices.
Deepak Chopra, author of the Book of Secrets throws some light further on this. “If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience. If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign-body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on-alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”
The truth is, most of us are simply afraid of change! The status quo is comfortable. It has been tried and tested so many times, eliminating a large possibility of failure. The thought of starting some new, chartering a fresh course that many have avoided scares us. So we sometimes sabotage ourselves and make the wrong choices. We convince ourselves that taking the usual path is safe and that is how we get stuck. Change can be hard if we are not prepared for it.
Mel Robbins, a Certified Public Speaker and Life Coach also talks about the 5-second rule. “There is a 5-second window between the instincts, the ‘shoulds’, the urges, the inner wisdom, the things that can change your life if you listen to it. There is a 5-second window from the moment you feel that instinct to move. And if you don’t, your brain is designed to kill it. The 5-second rule encourages you to count backwards from 5,4,3,2 to 1. The neuroscience behind this rule explains that counting backwards is an action that requires focus. The moment you hesitate, your mind raises a red flag and puts you in a position of inaction and fear. That is the moment you need to make a decision because it is a Moment of Power.” Your failure to do or your failure to not act is equally an action.
As business leaders and holders on crucial positions in life and love relationships, we are at risk of losing a lot. Why should your loyal clients of two, five or 20 years stick with you if you are afraid to question the status quo and advance towards new possibilities? Be honest with yourself in answering the following questions. Have you, for reasons of monotony or poor service delivery, changed your service provider in a particular industry? Have you lost a business opportunity because of complacency? Have you had the opportunity to turn things around in your life and business but turned away from doing so because of fear of change? If you answered yes to all or some of the questions, it is time to reassess the status quo in your life, love and labor.
Change will always be met with resistance – just ask a visionary. But sticking with the status quo can result in both businesses and individuals growing stagnant. Just because something has worked until now, it does not mean that there is no need for reassessment, or room for improvement. After all, sending messages by telegraph worked perfectly well until Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. And we have excellent products from world-class companies yet people still rise up to challenge the status quo. Recently Huawei launched its 5G flagship phone even with all the resistance from the US. The lesson here is that there is always that can be done better. Your life, whether rich or poor can always move to the next level. Your leadership skills can always be challenged and you as a person can be much better than you are.
With these 4 keys, you can start on your journey to bring to life everything that may have been standing still.
1. RAISE NECESSITY
In your quest to make a decision, you need to ask yourself whether there is a compelling and convincing ‘WHY’ you need to reassess the status quo. We usually think our “WHYs” must feel very big before we find them valid. But a simple reason as wanting to try something new to attract fresh energy is good enough! There are several life obstructions that can rise from being stuck in the status quo. Our necessity to reassess things should come from the consequences we are bound to face if we do not start moving to turn things around. You can also make it a practice to regularly reassess personal decisions, family decisions and work decisions.
2. SEEK TRUTH
Once you make your decision, you can bring people into the conversation. There will be the naysayers and the ‘yay-sayers’. Each and every one of these people will have their view. Some will be subjective about the matter at hand and others will look at it from an objective point of view, while others will simply speak the truth of the matter. What remains eminent in these conversations is to socialize the decision not on subjectivity, yay or nay, but simply around the truth. What are the truths about the ramifications and merits of the stance you are taking? No matter how hard it would be to accept the truth, after socialization the truth would stand. Your choice must focus not on the process of criticism and debate but about the truth.
3. START MOVING
All the winding roads of making a decision will take you to a place of positivity, even a ‘NO’. But keep your eyes on the prize which is to make a change! There is always something that can be done better. There is always a cultural practice that needs to be revised or fully thrown out the window. So move! Take up the opportunity to improve your skills, change jobs, streamline your working processes etc. “On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant decision maker.” – Robert K. Greenleaf
4. THE CONSISTENCY OF COURAGE
Every choice you make requires your demonstration of courage to see it through. Nonetheless, it is not about how much courage you demonstrate but about how consistently you display your courage. Once you take the decision, whether it affects the big players, the small players, the middle players or you ultimately in the process, you need to look at this decision through the eyes of courage. Courage is rightly defined as the ability to do something that frightens one. Yes, you may be afraid of change but you should do go for it anyway no matter the opportunity cost. Whatever decision you make, even though it may have some component of worry, fear, anxiety, demonstrate courage throughout the process. Remember that “your choices are a reflection of your hope and not your fears” – Nelson Mandela.
I am excited about the journey you have decided to embark on after reading this. This may have stood still for a while for you but by challenging the status quo, reassessing your decisions and habits, you can plunge yourself into new life. It is all about raining necessity, seeking truth, moving and consistently transforming your life through courage. The time is here and now!
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.