“People change when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, or receive enough that they are able to.” John Maxwell
People change for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the face of change looks stressed (“My body will never be the same again!”) while other times the face of change smiles with delight (“I’m getting married!”). A common denominator for change is something or someone enters the picture that serves as the catalyst for change.
For me, the accident served as a catalyst for some changes I needed to make. My shallow view of suffering had to change. My view of work had to change. My strong independent spirit had to soften so I could willingly receive help.
Is hurt enough to force change? Not always. You also need to learn “how to change”, gain greater awareness “that you need to change” and receive the support and tools “so you can change”.
Some principles to embrace as you consider making some personal changes:
- Change rarely happens instantaneously. It includes rewiring of the brain which takes time, so be patient!
- Change is a process, not an event. It`s a journey not a destination.
- Change includes certain steps but keep in mind, the order may vary.
- Change can be emotionally messy. Since change involves grief and loss, expect pain and emotion.
- In order for change to happen, you must want to change.
Steps during a personal change journey:
You begin the change process when you become aware of the need for change. As I lay recovering from my injuries, my awareness bell started ringing which set in motion my change journey.
The cousin of awareness is urgency which can turn up the heat and create the motivation to grow forward in the direction of the changes you need and want. At one point in my recovery, I realized I was vulnerable emotionally and needed the support of a therapist who has continued to support me on my change journey.
With the motivational forces of awareness and urgency behind you, you are then capable of making the decision to change. Deciding to change has tremendous power to keep going when tempted to quit.
4. Problem solving
Once you decide to change, you must solve the problems in front of you including what you will need to do differently, what barriers you will face, and how you will overcome them.
Once you have selected your path, you need to make a commitment to action in order to move forward.
Down the road, you will need to have your new behaviours reinforced or you risk falling back into your old, familiar habits. (For more on this, see Adaptive Coaching by Terry Bacon and Karen Spear.)
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished” [Benjamin Franklin].
What changes do you need to make in your life? Where will you start?