"Voices of Change"
Your Success Thought for the Week of March 15, 2006

‘Change’ is inevitable as are the ‘voices of change.’ Some voices are internal; others, external. The larger your change, the more voices appear. We can benefit from a variety of guiding voices. The mastery comes in deciphering which ones are valid in each instance. This makes you unstoppable.

Internal voices are often a mystery. Some may seem supportive yet are designed to hold you back. For example, while considering taking on a huge new account, the following voice may appear: “Oh honey, don’t push so hard. You’re fine the way you are.” It's good to note, though, the majority of the voices are simply you expressing yourself to yourself - your fears, your deepest desires, your own doubts.

Many of your internal voices are highly critical and make you feel rotten for even considering your change: “Who do you think you are? Why would they want to do business with a rookie like you? Remember that account last year when you failed miserably?”

Your soft internal voices of curiosity, intrigue and creativity are the ones to value. “I wonder what I need to take on that new account? I can rearrange my schedule, read that insightful new book George recommended, and brainstorm with Seth who is more experienced than I am at this point. Yes, with focus and creativity, I can do this.”

It’s key to take time to differentiate your conflicting internal voices. In moving fast, you allow simultaneous voices to shoot through your mind, which exhaust and confuse you. It’s like trying to catch individual drops of water shooting out of a fire hose.

External voices can also be tricky. You know who you can trust and who you cannot trust by now, right? What about those who you trust on a business level but possibly not on a personal level. The opposite can also be true. Those in your personal world may have amazing insight into your professional challenges.

As with your inner voice, external voices sometimes reflect the individual's deepest fears, desires and self-doubts. If you suspect their advice is more about them than you, ask clarifying questions and dig a little deeper into their true meaning.

Below are four considerations when listening to numerous voices of change:

  1. Slow down. Enthusiasm is a natural by-product of change. We are excited to move forward and imagine the possibilities. Once we get the thought in our mind, we want to move fast. While it is often necessary to act quickly, taking even a few moments of time to breathe and quietly listen allows clarity.

  2. Listen intently. What tones are you hearing—cynicism, compassion, wisdom, jealousy, doubt, genuine support, inquisitiveness? Are these voices coming fast or through deep consideration? What is the true meaning behind the words?

  3. Assess your feeling. The test of a relationship is how you feel when you walk away from an interaction. The same is true of these ‘voices.’ How do you feel after leaving a conversation or processing something internally? What is your body telling you? Do you feel excited, energized, cautious, peaceful, agitated? What does this feeling tell you?

  4. Write it down. Take time to evaluate the above keys in a quite place away from your normal daily activities. A park, coffee shop, or day away from it all will provide invaluable insight. Writing your thoughts down activates both sides of your brain for further clarity, even simplicity.

This week, notice voices surrounding changes you are considering. How can you master the art of knowing which ones to value? In what areas of your life are you unstoppable?

Have a grand week and enjoy your discoveries.


Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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