You can’t change me

Posted by Doc
Apr 13 2009

Change is a powerful and frightening thing.

What’s just as frightening, is that many of us think we can change others. Not initiate change, not encourage change, but effect change in others.

We can’t.

Oh, sure – people in my life may change because of things I say or do.

But they don’t change because of me. They change because they choose to change.

The most I can do is offer my thoughts, through my spoken or written words, and demonstrate through my behavior, and at the same time offer them the opportunity to change.

Think about some of the books you’ve read that led you to make changes in your life. Did the author change you? Or did you embrace and internalize what the author wrote and make changes in yourself?

Now think about this in the context of work. If I can’t change someone, or make them change, then how do I effect the change that I believe is important? And, especially, how do I effect that change in someone who is not emotionally attached to me nor a student or apprentice of mine?

I don’t! I speak and share and show. If I do it well, then maybe they’ll choose to change. And maybe they won’t.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, read the Serenity Prayer, and think about it.

…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

4 Responses

  1. Twitter Comment

    Steven List: You can’t change me: Change is a powerful and frightening thing.
    What’s just as frightening, is th.. [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

    • Doc says:

      Not yet. But I will now – I love those guys (Patterson et al) who wrote Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations.

      Thanks, Jason.

  2. AnnaHopn says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.


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