There’s incredible potential in changing one small thing.
Small changes can lead to bigger transformations. Seemingly minor shifts in behavior, mindset, or habits can set off a chain reaction that leads to significant positive outcomes.
I know this from my own life and from doing this work with my coaching clients.
I also know there's a temptation to pooh-pooh something small, to crave that giant breakthrough that dynamites all obstacles.
Want some true stories about this? (I've altered names to protect client privacy.)
Sarah, a woman struggling with anxiety and dissatisfaction, started a simple daily gratitude practice. Each morning over her cup of coffee, she wrote down three things she was grateful for. Within a week, this small change shifted her physical state from the stress brought by negativity to calmer, positive feelings. Over time, she became more resilient and open to new opportunities.
Mark was struggling to find job leads and decided to make a small change by reaching out to one new professional contact per week. Through weaving in more people, he expanded his net, and one of his connections referred him to a job opening that was not publicly advertised, giving him a competitive advantage during the application process.
Leon was running “on automatic pilot” at home and work. He changed up just one of his daily routines by driving a different route to his office each day. This teeny change woke him up. It inspired him to make additional playful changes (colorful socks, growing a flowering plant from seeds), which led to regularly meeting up with a dear friend and that motivated him to set the right-sized goals for meaningful changes in his job.
Maria, an artist who deferred her art practice to take a non-art job, made the small change of adding back 15 minutes of art-making to her evening. She found new joy in reconnecting with her passion, which boosted her confidence. Encouraged by her progress, she began seeking friend-commissioned art projects, which led to significant additions to her portfolio and the courage to pursue an art-related professional role.
Regan felt discouraged by multiple rejections during their job search. They decided to tweak their mindset by viewing each rejection as a learning experience rather than a personal failure. This shift in perspective increased their resilience and motivation to stay in the process. And yes, now they're working in a job they love. The key to maximizing the potential of a small change is to be determined and open to learning and growth.
Is it great to think big? Absolutely. Necessary. Yet, sometimes thinking small is all it takes!
Judy Garfinkel helps you clarify "what's next." Her expertise in building confidence and resilience supports personal development and the ability to navigate career and work transitions – especially now! She also crafts bespoke resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and bios that open doors for her clients and land jobs. Judy is a Past President of the International Coaching Federation - Connecticut Chapter, where she led 250+ member coaches. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.