When Something Isn’t Working – Change The Dance

Scroll this

There is a popular saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Often quoted but seldom employed.

We all have observed this behaviour at some point or another.

Someone stuck in a rut. Doing the same thing, over and over again. A week/month/year later – still stuck in a rut.

I’ve been pondering over this in recent months.

Many people are totally miserable in their current job, but they will still turn up tomorrow at 8am. They hate it. They struggle to get out of bed in the morning, and yet there they are.

Right now there’s a world of possibilities to earn money and make a living and yet so many people return to a job working for someone else because they don’t want to change what they’re doing.

In interviewing numerous people for jobs, I’ve asked the question ‘Why do you want to leave where you are currently?”

In most cases, the first response is incomplete.

In an attempt to refrain from dragging their current employer through the mud, they will give me a glossy version of why they want to leave.

But what happens when I did a little deeper?

That’s where the truth is revealed.

  • I can’t stand working with such and such.
  • The work environment is like poison.
  • The company isn’t going anywhere.
  • I haven’t had a pay increase for two years.

How long has it been like that?

In almost every instance, it has been that way for a lengthy amount of time. Only now have they attempted to leave.


Stuck. in. a. rut. for. too. long.

Last night, my sister shared a story with me and the phrase ‘change the dance’ took on a whole new meaning.

She told me how she happened to work at a company a number of years ago that had begun to turn sour. Someone she worked with, for whatever reason, went out of their way to make her life miserable.

She sought advice and my mother dropped the gem ‘change the dance’.

Catherine described her daily routine of entering the office in the morning and walking around saying ‘good morning!’ to everyone.

She changed the dance.

The next day she went in and said good morning to everyone EXCEPT the culprit.

To her surprise, after only a few days the culprit changed. They recognised that Catherine wouldn’t tolerate bad behaviour and changed their behaviour accordingly.

From then on, Catherine emphasised ‘The whole situation was different”. In summation, it was because Catherine changed her actions.

She did something differently.

She changed the dance.

Think about how many times you’ve changed the dance.

As a business owner, I hated chasing up accounts. So I now charge up front for our services. I no longer chase money. I changed the dance.

As a husband and father, I hated not seeing my wife and son. I quit my 9-to-5 job and worked from home. Both relationships improved dramatically. I changed the dance.

As a friend, I hated not spending more time with those I care about. I now call friends each week to meet for lunch or coffee. Now I see more friends more often. I changed the dance.

Whatever it is that is bugging you, try something different. Alter your own behaviour. You’ll find that it will have a ripple effect and your environment will be different.

Change the dance – then share with me and other readers what you changed so we can all benefit.

Carlton dancing