The Face of Change

“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:  

1.  Awareness

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.

2.  Urgency

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.

3.  Deciding

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. 

5.  Commitment 

Once you have selected your path, you need to make a commitment to action in order to move forward.

6. Reinforcement

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?


About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Change, Growth, learning, Opportunity, suffering and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Face of Change

  1. Mark Lawrence says:

    Thanks Cam,

    My recent illness and surgery have made me aware of areas of my life I need to change. One important area is a more balanced life, work and family and most important I need to be involved in a ministry.

    How can I sustain this awareness for change so that I translate it to action ?

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Mark for sharing a bit of your journey and how having surgery made you aware of some needed changes you want to make. I think one of the best ways to turn awareness into action is to write out what exactly your new balanced life will look like (by way of a goal) and then start working on a plan to move that forward step by step. That’s the decision and problem solving phase. Then you can commit to the actions that are clearly defined.

      Also – find a friend to help you on the journey so you don’t quit as the urgency fads. Accountability and partnership is a great way to move change ideas into reality!

  2. Shirlene Henning. says:

    Wow! I have so much to comment about. It may be easier to do it in person. I’ll share a glimpse from the past and present. First…was anger…way back in the 90’s, I “had” so much anger toward an individual. Actually towards two individuals. Then came a huge “hurt”, on top of the anger. Then came a bit of change..(a very little bit), to forgive was kinda their, but not alot. To accept what was happening, anger, hurt, disappointment, grieving from what was happening, I was too stubborn to let go and let God. As time went on relationship was getting better, then came tragedy. Then came illness, or disease, as it’s called, that was hard to deal with. Then came another disappointment. And on and on.
    Many years have gone by now. The biggest process of change, was becoming thankful for today. I’ve had to learn a lot. Before I actually noticed moments of change in myself, I actually was wanting to change, forgiveness played a big part. I sure had to go through some mucky stuff, before I stopped being miserable, and making others miserable around me.
    Cam, as we go through this journey with you and Vicky, the word “change” is a “big” word, all the different stages of change seeing you go both through, and continuing on, is helpful for those of us who have gone through “stuff”, it all makes me “understand” the change in a tragedy or in any circumstance. I’m still working through a change, it will go on and on, Praise The Lord.

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Shirlene for sharing your journey with change. No one said it was easy but when we lean into the changes that we need to make (as you have), we’re better for it and others are encouraged to do the same! May you see much fruit from your ongoing positive change!

  3. rb says:

    Thanks Cam: Here is my take and you can quote me on this. “The majority of churches that approach change are most like the human body as it ages. They get older and gain weight, get dodgy, move slower and care less.

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