You have to Prepare for Change


I have the sublime privilege of working with people who want change and growth.

They are ambitious, eager to make a difference and desperate not to lose themselves in the process.

More frequently than not, we start our journey without a clear line of sight of how it will go.

There is one thing that is constant:

Change requires preparation.

It requires new way of doing things; and more importantly, it requires mental, emotional and spiritual stretch. It requires energy, aspiration, determination and the willingness to do what is required to bring to life something new and unfamiliar.

From my own experience, and from I bear witness to with clients, it demands the willingness to start over repeatedly and that we work with our discouragement and disappointment in a way that is supportive and compassionate as opposed to punishing ourselves and beating ourselves up.

Inevitably, we also have to question our beliefs and assumptions about our circumstances, what we are capable of, and we have to confront our deepest fears.

Change requires intimacy with ourselves.

Change requires intimacy with ourselves. We have to go in search of our own formulas for change. what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for others. What works for us in one context, doesn’t work in another. And so we must remain in relationship with ourselves. Compassionate and willing.

The good news is that each shift, each adjustment birthed within us brings new perspectives and resources on board that we can apply as life morphs.

One of the biggest challenges to change is that we are prone to expecting too much of ourselves. We expect somehow, despite the evidence around us to the contrary, that the change we seek must happen overnight. That we must change overnight.

And when this does not happen, we suffer a devastation and resign ourselves to forever being the same. It becomes less about what we’re doing and more about who we are. We make our inability to change part of our identity.

We lose trust in ourselves, and weigh ourselves down with feelings of worthlessness, of being unmotivated, ineffective, weak, stuck, and a failure.

That is not how change works.

Transformation is a process.

There are phases to it, and each phase has a life of its own.

There are 5 distinct phases in the transformation process:

  • Pre-contemplation - When we don’t even know that we want to or have to change. The world is fine just as it is.

  • Contemplation - A dream is born and in its infancy, it is a wish, a daydream. The world has new possibilities

  • Preparation - We get ready to do it. We move from possibilities to probabilities

  • Action - This is where we start walking on ’sea legs’. The newness becomes real, but is awkward and the old world calls us back persuasively

  • Maintenance - We keep going and make this new world our normal. The old world loses it power over us and eventually is no longer an option.

Just knowing this lets us know that change, however small, is not a one-and done thing. We have to have the willingness to return to the journey of our change and transformation. Our ultimate transformation requires many changes to who we are so that we may meet the world differently.

Change is a brave and a courageous process.

Change is a brave and a courageous process. It requires us to be patient with ourselves and to be kind and compassionate with ourselves.

It may requires that we allow ourselves to grieve versions of ourself that once we loved or are simply attached to through exposure and time.

We may have to lose and replace parts of our belief systems and our eco-systems, all of which signal our deepest fears.

So to change, we need to prepare.

We have to assume that resistance will emerge in countless forms and that creating the beautiful life we want will require us to march valiantly through that resistance.

We have to remind ourselves of the cost of not changing. And we have to choose repeatedly which cost we would rather bear: the cost of changing or the cost of remaining the same.

When we seek change there are pitfalls we can drop into. This may all seem ridiculously basic, and yet, it is the undoing of the creation of our one beautiful, blessed life. Each reveals its own gift and guides us to our growth.

These include:

  • Being vague about what you want

  • Not making a serious commitment

  • Procrastinating and making excuses

  • Being unwilling to go through the awkwardness of doing new things

  • Not setting up a tracking and reminder system against which to hold ourselves accountable for our transformation

  • Expecting perfection straight out the gate

  • Falling prey to guilt, regret and shame

  • Trying to go it alone

  • Remains steadfast to self-limiting stories

  • Not having back-up plans

  • Choosing failure by giving up when we slip-up.

Each of us holds the potential for our unique version of greatness.

With every fraction of our growth, we ignite possibility within ourselves and in those around us.

No matter what change we embark on, we grow our souls.

We nurture our patience, our compassion, our tenacity, our resolve, our humour and our trust in ourselves and our love for ourselves.

Sometimes, to take a single step forward, we have to free ourselves of so many things that could otherwise hold us back.

Undoubtedly, this alone is worth the effort.


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