“Change occurs when one becomes more of what he/she is, not when he/she tries to become more of what he is not” – Arnold Beisser, Paradoxical Theory of Change
This quote, which I recently read in the book ‘can scorpions smoke’, has challenged how I think about my development and personal growth.
I mean, I’ve taken comfort and direction from affirmations such as this one about a flower to stop the comparison with others (which, I suppose could be described as wanting to become that which I am not). However, this idea of changing through paying attention to who I am and becoming more of the same is quite different and I’m not sure what to make of it. Hence this blog post!
I suppose I could look at it like this, I love baking and cooking vegan treats. It’s something I enjoy and think I’m quite good at. But I don’t have the same feeling about doing handy jobs around the house – painting, fixing, trying to mend broken stuff. DIY doesn’t really make me feel on top of the world nor does it result in making my house any nicer. If anything, it tends to make things worse!
Even if I wanted to improve with my DIY, I would never get as positive an outcome as I would with my vegan baking. If I really focused hard on building on the talent I naturally have for making delicious treats, so much could happen with it. I could save money through never buying expensive ready-made sweets again, could start to sell my creations, build a business, open a café, become the best vegan cake shop in the world….ok, I’ll stop there before I get carried away!
I don’t know if I completely agree with Arnold Beisser as I could change and improve at DIY…so I’m inclined to think instead that the greatest level of change occurs when you become more of what you are.
When I think of myself and all the things I’m good at, I would say the following areas are my greatest strengths:
- Working with people/collaborating
- Being curious
- Listening and asking good questions
- Speaking and writing from the heart
- Seeing the positive in a tricky situation
- Taking on new information quickly
- Vegan baking
- Seeing correlations between things
Just seeing these things, I can sense how change – and massive change for that matter – might be possible if I put myself in situations to develop more of who I naturally am.
I mean, if I aimed to collaborate even more in my organisational development role, or found other writers who wanted to collaborate on this blog, I could really grow, both in and out of work and magnify the impact of what I do.
If I increased my curiosity and asked more questions, my life would have greater levels of richness and I could find myself on so many adventures or random paths.
If I used my skills at seeing correlations between things and speaking from the heart, I’d admit to myself and to you, dear friends, my heart’s desire of becoming a life coach and supporting other people to become more of who they are.
So yes, all in all, I suppose I agree with Arnold, what a wonderful chap. Change does happen the most through focusing on that what we truly are…and it’s pretty damn exciting to imagine where that change could take me…