Recently, on The EARLY Show, a news reporter was interviewing Martina Navratilova. They were talking about other great tennis players, and Billy Jean King was mentioned. Martina said that she had received the best advice of her career from Billy Jean when she overheard Martina being very negative about how badly the balls were bouncing on the court surface. That's when Billy Jean said, "Being negative about it won't change it… Champions Adjust."

Whether or not you consider yourself a champion does not matter… each and every one of us needs to acclimate to this type of mentality if we are to accept responsibility for our lives. You see, we are all CEO's of our own personal service organization. It doesn't matter what job position or title you hold, you are an independent contractor for the work that you are agreeing to do for the remuneration you receive. You have the power to leave, and… you have the power to stay and have great influence. A Master of Change is a Champion who accepts this fully. To step fully into our greatness we need to accept the responsibility of championing ourselves, first and foremost. The rest will follow as we are ready.

Building Your Power Base

According to Webster's Dictionary, the word MASTER gives reference to a person who is very skilled and able, an expert in some work, profession, science. In becoming a MASTER of change we must step fully into our greatness and own our internal personal power as our only necessary resource. As I work with associations and corporate teams I find that two of the words in our language most misunderstood are greatness and power. They have been treated by most as something we should shy away from, rather than embrace. I find this "mistake" originating from our conditioned states of powerlessness, and from the celebrity status we give victimization.

We are afraid that if we step fully into our greatness that we will "offend" someone. That someone will feel "less than" when they are around us. How foolish. How arrogant this really is. Greatness IS Grace, Generosity, Good Will, Clarity, Authenticity and yes, having boundaries and guidelines. Real power is NOT about overpowering another. Real power is the act of acknowledging and encouraging the power within another. Only when we step fully into our greatness and allow ourselves to experience and express our internal power do we give other people permission to do the same.

Mastering Change is about accepting your greatness
and behaving like the champion you are…
and Champions Adjust!

As I am writing this, my personal and professional life is just embarking on tremendous change. I am a person who has a very specific system for accomplishing all that I set out to do on any given day… and as of these past two weeks my system has been totally turned upside down. Did I see this coming? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, this time I did. These changes were in the plan, and now that they are here, I'm going through the emotional upheaval that comes with change.

The Reader's Digest Version

Two years ago when my husband and I moved, we decided that our new, evolving plan would designate that he accept a job with benefits that required a lot of travel. He put his PRE-PAID LEGAL business on the back burner so that I could continue building my speaking/training/writing business until it was substantial enough to support us both. Once that was achieved, he would be able to pursue his dream full time. Two weeks ago, we realized that the time is now, and he is moving back into the office.

I had scheduled the writing of this newsletter for last week. NORMALLY, when I write, I have absolute, complete and total silence so that, as the ideas flow in, I can keep them in order as I type. As I am Mastering Change, I find myself getting to practice what I teach. I NORMALLY can't stand to leave things until the last minute. It's my "style" to have my part done ahead of time. This time, it's all CHANGED! With all the disruption of his career move, I decided to push it back. However, my graphic design artist and my web designer are standing by, waiting for the copy on the prescribed schedule. With my self imposed deadline at hand, I begin writing this and, as with all change, I too have a had a series of disruptions in the sharing of what was once exclusively my office space.

Champions Adjust!

You may be thinking… "why doesn't she just send her husband out of the office on a full day of errands as this disruption appears to only be temporary. Why change anything now?" Because the requirement is now and because… Champions Adjust. I find it more intrinsically valuable to be able to give up what's been for what is coming to be. If I really intend to continue to create my success, then I must be willing to adjust.

When you receive this, it is the confirmation that an adjustment has been made!!! I am determined to accomplish what I set out to do today, regardless of the excuses I could be giving myself. Excuses like, "I couldn't even have a roommate in college because I couldn't stand anybody being around while I studied, what makes me think I can do it now?! NORMALLY, I can't write with even a smidgen of noise or even the slightest probability that I will be interrupted. I'll wait until everything's changed and he's out working." Habit, Habit, Habit – Excuse, Excuse, Excuse!

Sound familiar ?! We all have habits that give us LEGITIMATE excuses that we can use to keep us from doing the things that take focus, courage, fortitude and just plain old commitment to ones' goals. This is about the mental discipline it takes to stay on track in the face of the disruption and interruption of change. This isn't the first time I've gone through something like this, and it won't be the last. So what I want to give you in this and the next issue of SuccessBytes is the scientific information I turn to, and tools I use for Mastering Change and making today's mountains into the molehills of tomorrow.

The Science of Mastering Change

Changing is like going from solid footing to shaky ground. Change represents movement from the familiar to the unknown, movement from the comfort of long-standing habits and viewpoints into the dangerous abyss of unfamiliarity and uncertainty. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Every change, even the most longed for, carries with it that edge of danger; that slip into the abyss. So, is it any wonder we resist change? "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." This is one of Newton's basic laws. Any attempt at change is automatically met with resistance to that change. Your success will be determined by what you do when you are faced with the inevitable resistance you encounter along the way to your goal.

Changing means CHOOSING to move out of your comfort zone. As you move from thinking and acting out of fear to thinking and acting from your greatness and your power, you move into the uncertainty of change. Freud described why humans resist even positive change in what he called "the pleasure principle." Simply stated, this is the tendency to view anything unfamiliar as painful, while viewing anything familiar as pleasurable. As human beings, our natural survival mechanism dictates that we seek pleasure and avoid pain. We seek to maintain the status quo and avoid upsetting the established balance or homeostasis.

When you are in a conditioned state of powerlessness, what you currently "relate to" or identify with is being a person who basically lives in a random universe over which you have no real power. And this is your comfort zone, because from this place, the psyche believes that it has no real power to influence desired outcomes.

Let me explain further. Dr. Deepak Chopra, a renowned endocrinologist who has done extensive research in the relationship between the mind, body and spirit. His research concludes that 80-90% of the thoughts we think today, we will think again tomorrow. Other research, that I know you've heard about, indicates that our mind's capabilities are far greater that what we are presently accessing and making use of. The last guesstimate was that we are only using about 10% of our mind's capacity.

Dr. Chopra explains that you and I have preconceived notions about our world that psychologists refer to as: Premature Cognitive Commitments. For example, in India they train an elephant as a baby by tying it with an iron chain to a big tree. They gradually decrease the size of the chain over a period of time until ultimately the full-grown elephant is held by a flimsy rope tied to a small stake in the ground. It "could" walk away, but it doesn't because it's made a commitment in it's "bodymind" that it is in a prison.

In a study at Harvard Medical School, one group of kittens was brought up in a room with horizontal stripes and another was brought up in a room with vertical stripes. When the kittens were grown, and they tried to navigate their world, they would bump into furniture legs, because they didn't have the connections in their nervous system to see anything but a horizontal world or a vertical world. This is a very important experiment because it tells us that our view of the world, our sensory experiences, and even our bodies, are programmed. Our initial experience structures our nervous system in such a way that subsequently our perceptions just reinforce what we NOW HOLD TRUE.

Hence the expression: "Seeing is Believing." Well, physiologically speaking, it is the other way around. Most people can take in less than one billionth of all the stimuli that are available to them at any point in time. Which ones do we take in? The ones that reinforce what we think exists out there. If you don't have a notion for it, if you don't have an idea that something exists, if you don't have a concept or a belief, then your nervous system won't even allow that to get inside your mind. If the belief is that it doesn't exist out there then the nervous system will edit it out and bring in everything that we believe exists at a deep level of awareness.

Every man sees what he wants to see and 
disregards  the rest. – Bob Dylan

So what is reality? My reality, your reality… has infinite possibilities all coexisting all at the same time. We take the infinite possibilities and structure a certain perceptual reality. What we consider possible is merely a premature cognitive commitment – decisions we may have made at age 2,5,8 13, 19. The point here is that we still operate within those decisions (premature cognitive commitments) we made at very young ages.

Interrupting Premature Cognitive Commitments

When in the throes of change, when better to ask ourselves, DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO? "Am I still operating in a vertical world now, or a horizontal world?" When you ask these questions, you interrupt the premature cognitive commitment – habitual thought – and thereby challenge your thinking process into waking back up and beginning again. So saying to yourself: "Champions Adjust" can shift you into solution-generating thinking instantaneously. When you take the initiative to be deliberate about your world, your life, your thinking, you are insisting that your mind give up the limitations of the preconceived notions and move into taking your power back.

4 SuccessBytes for Mastering Change:

SuccessByte #1 - Increase Focus

Be conscious of your thoughts. Think precisely. Bring the focus of your mind into each thought – and let the desired outcome, the end result, be laser sharp. Give up the concept: "NORMALLY!"

SuccessByte #2 - Be conscious of your emotions. You cannot monitor every thought you have; there are too many coming in too fast. But you CAN monitor your emotions! You can tell when your thinking has turned negative by the way the thoughts express themselves in your emotions. Stop developing and rehearsing scenarios that cause fear, anger, resentment and feelings of loss. Take total command of your emotional system.

Never limit your view of life by any past experience. –Ernest Holmes

If negativity occurs and you begin feeling down or in overwhelm… speak to yourself mentally with the feeling with authority… remember, you've got the power. Choose greatness and you own it.

SuccessByte #3 - Care less about what is going on around you. Care more about the vision of the future you want to create.

SuccessByte #4 - Observe yourself. Be conscious of the activity of your work, whatever it may be. Choose to see yourself performing each task with ease, assurance and in control of every situation. Be aware that everything you choose to do, you give meaning to. Nothing is anything until you give it meaning. What meaning will you prescribe?

…our life crises tell us that we need to break free of beliefs that no longer serve our personal development. These points at which we must choose to change or to stagnate are our greatest challenges. Every new crossroads means we enter into a new cycle of change – whether it be adopting a new health regimen or a new spiritual practice. And change inevitably means letting go of the familiar people and places and moving on to another state of life.
-Caroline Myss, Ph.D., Anatomy of the Spirit

And always, always remember… YOU ARE A SUCCESS!


©2001 Mary Robinson Reynolds, Heart Productions & Publishing

Mary ReynoldsMary Robinson Reynolds, M.S., Educational Psychologist, Author and Producer of the world renowned Internet videos, and - both amassing over 10 million views within a few short months of their releases - spent many years as a classroom teacher K-8 and then as a counselor K-12. She parlayed her phenomenal success with youth at-risk into her programs for business leaders, entrepreneurs and managers on how to be energetically effective in leading improvement in their organizations through the power of Team Synergy and MasterMinding. She has written eight books, developed UTrain&Coach programs that anyone can take into their place of work to build organization wide Team Synergy, and has presented to over 20,000 people in two year period in every major city in the U.S. To learn more go to:

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