You know that feeling when a new change is coming?
You’re quitting your job, moving abroad, or starting a new school.
You feel overwhelmed and a flush of anxiety rushes through your body. Your alarm system kicks in and your brain floods you with questions:
“How will I manage this? What will my friends and family say?” The questions never stop spinning around in your head.
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.
If you’re struggling with change, let me show you something that has helped me.
What exactly is kaizen?
I stumbled across Dr. Maurer’s book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way in one of my online classes, where Copbyblogger mentor and teacher Sonia Simone recommended it to me.
She told me how much the book had meant for her and we could both relate to the struggle of overwhelm and the fear of imperfection.
For me, the worst part was that nothing was ever good enough and that’s why I didn’t move forward with my business.
I felt stuck, so I thought: why not give this kaizen approach a try?
Simply put, kaizen is a Japanese philososophy about taking small steps of steady improvement. Lao-Tzu sums it up well:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I’d even go as far as to say that your journey begins with a single thought in your mind – a small seed – and unless you act on it, you won’t make any progress on your goals.
So, instead of freaking out about the big and scary change, you break it down into the smallest possible step that will help you move forward.
If you feel overwhelmed… pare it down.
The benefits of using kaizen
I wished I had applied kaizen much earlier. It makes the journey more fun and less stressful.
Kaizen helps you:
- Feel more capable and confident.
Instead of saying to yourself “I’m going to write a whole book”, you say: how about if I play around with that opening scene that I can’t wait to explore? Let’s put the timer on 20 minutes and get started.
- Build more healthy habits.
Instead of saying to yourself “I’m going to run a marathon”, you say: how about if I take a 15 minute walk around the neighbourhood?
- Gain momentum and make steady progress towards your goal.
There is nothing like making progress on a goal or a dream that you want to fulfil. By taking even the smallest step, you give yourself the permission to succeed and fail.
Babies know best
Kaizen is a lot more fun and a lot less painful. After all, babies use this approach all the time – they learn how to walk by putting one foot in front of the other.
Why do we forget to do that as adults?
Part of the reason can be found in Western culture, which feeds us stories of instant gratification and overnight successes.
But in the real world, real results come from taking action and focusing your efforts.
It’s not sexy. It’s not always easy. But it works.
Want to see what difference kaizen can make in your life?
The kaizen approach to personal development is a lot more fun and rewarding than beating yourself up over all your imperfections.
The journey is the reward. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give kaizen a try?
Right now, you can sign up for my course Take the Road Less Travelled. It teaches you how to apply kaizen in your own life, and also covers other important areas like mindset and mindfulness.
Hope to see you in the class 🙂