Why changing “I can’t” into “I can” is a key to success

Introducing the Wellness Compass Model of Change

One of the key differences between people who are well, happy, and successful and those who aren’t is that those who are most successful believe they can. Because they believe they can, they do, they take action: they modify, adapt and even affect change because of their empowerment.

Those who believe they can’t, don’t. They miss out by not even trying to grow. Those who remain fearful or inflexible are either late or lagging adopters of change. Over time their frustration and relative stagnation create a bitter outlook that can undermine success, health and happiness.

The Wellness Compass Model of Change (Chapter 15)  postulates that professional success requires ongoing growth and learning. Growth requires us to adapt new information and practices; learning requires us to be flexible and open-minded, to accept new ideas; and, open-mindedness requires us to take risks to overcome the inherent uncertainty and loss of power that accompanies change.

Source. Derrickson, J.P. (2017). The Wellness Compass Travel Guide for a lifelong journey.

Source. Derrickson, J.P. (2017). The Wellness Compass Travel Guide. Guidebook for a Lifelong Journey.

Are you an “I can” or “I can’t person”, or someone in between?

  • I struggle: Changing “becoming something different” is pretty scary.  It’s hard for me to say no, to set boundaries, perhaps I don’t have self confidence. I am often afraid.
  • Sometimes I can: Sometime I don’t. I’m not afriad, but don’t like change because it means for a while I don’t know what to expect. I have to give up the sense of security that comes with competence and routine. Change requires work – it’s a hassle: Why can’t things just stay the same?
  • I can. I am dauntless and resilient when I fumble. I embrace change because it requires risk, and risk and the growth process is exciting. By growing I become a better person.

For most of us the choice is really how quickly we adopt new practices. The tough reality is that we really don’t have control of our lives like we used to: change is inevitable, constant, and accelerating. Unless we want to live in isolation, we must continually adjust just to keep up. To flourish we must embrace change, take risks, flexibly adapt, and perpetually live in a zone I call “Courageously Changing.”

To move from the perception of “I can’t” to “I can” requires a transformation in our thought process. It requires fundamentally building confidence that we can overcome our fears and take control of what’s holding us back. It takes practice to develop confidence and competence, and a fundamental shift in thinking to believe that it’s in our own best interest to be postive, to cautiously take risks, and to be proactive instead of reactive.

Try doing the following activities to assess your ability to adopt, to nudge yourself forward in breaking free from a fear, and to challenge yourself to become the best you can be.

Activity 15.1 Foundations of Change

Activity 15.2. Professional Development SWOT

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