Work-Life 3/3/2016

The DNA of Change: How To Evolve Professionally, Naturally


by Leslie Juvin-Acker

Who's to say we’ve got to follow “the rules” all of the time? Life is an adventure and every generation is a deviation from the “norm”. When keeping it fresh, think about releasing your inner rebel - even if it makes yourself uncomfortable.

Kelly Slater, Tony Hawk, Ralph Lauren epitomize professional evolution

We’re all growing and taking paths that are right for us. Sometimes, though, we think we know what’s right for us all of the time even to the point of uncomfortable comfort. Have you ever heard someone say, “I know what’s right for me and there’s no way that I could do anything else differently,”? I have: myself.

Have you ever tried something totally new - something totally NOT you and realized, “This is so me!”? Since we’re in a constant state of change (just ask every cell in your body) who knows what new habit or belief could suit us next?

We allow ourselves to get stuck in ruts - even when they hold us back from success - just because we assume what’s right for us. I’m very weary of people’s well-meaning, but misguided advice that discourages people to challenge who they perceive themselves to be simply because it’s not within their “values”. What a minute. What are our values then? Values are (and should be changeable). Examine why you’re so stuck on your concrete values and then you see better as to why you’re feeling stuck in your career.

Being flexible in our core beliefs and values is the first step towards keeping it fresh. Ideas get old and paradigms shift and as an evolutionary consequence, our behaviors and choices do, too. Ask yourself:

1, What am I forcing myself to believe that's keeping me from evolving?

2. What if I challenged and maybe changed or even abandoned this belief about myself and/or the world? How would I act differently if this belief simply didn’t matter anymore?

The final question remains: How well do we know ourselves?

If we literally have a different body as our cells regenerate/replicate themselves and evolve - it’s in our DNA to change - then couldn’t it be totally plausible that our tastes, beliefs, and thoughts could evolve, dare I say, upgrade, along with it?

Our bodies literally work to keep itself fresh (even if we conspire against our health). Then why can’t our tastes and pleasures - and, ultimately, our definition of who we are and what we are capable of doing? Like trying and falling in love with a passion for the first time and as technology evolves with it, so do we find ourselves enjoying it in all new ways. However, the capacity to do so doesn’t lie within these external conditions, it’s our own personal imagination that says it’s ok to fall in love with our careers like the first time but for the thousandth time in a different way.