Change can feel daunting, but without it, it’s impossible to grow and thrive. Let’s explore what’s awesome about change, how to tackle the challenges, and when the time is right to make a change.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them
yourself.” ~ Andy Warhol
The Challenge of Change
Change is rarely easy, but it’s critical to growth in nearly every aspect of life, from personal to professional. And while some changes seem subtle and unconscious — after all, few of us resemble the person we were in high school — most changes require tremendous energy, commitment, and perseverance.
As with most valuable things in life that don’t come easily, overcoming the challenge of change can reap tremendous rewards. Even small changes have the power to increase your joy and success — and big changes can transform your life.
Common Roadblocks to Change
Change can be heart-wrenching and difficult and it can also be wonderful. Fear of the upheaval that accompanies change is often the biggest roadblock to change. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from shaking up your life for the better.
When considering big life changes — pursuing a new career, ending a
relationship, training for a marathon — your self talk can stand in your
way. You know what I mean: phrases like, “I’m not the kind of person who
…” or “I’ve never been able to …” Instead of getting hung up on self
limiting thoughts and beliefs, focus on your actions. Take steps that will
move you towards your goals, and see yourself become the “kind of person” who creates their own success.
Complacency can also keep you from achieving your dreams. It’s always easier not to change. Sometimes busyness can keep you from abandoning the status quo. In fact, busyness may be a symptom of lack of balance in your life making a change even more important. Identifying your personal roadblocks to change will help you take action to move your life in the direction of your dreams.
So When is It Time to Make a Change?
It’s time to make a change whenever you find yourself feeling stagnant, lacking joy, or falling short of success. The change you need may be small, like starting off your day with meditation or exercise rather than a mad scramble to get out the door. Or it may be large, like finding a new job, deciding to raise a family, or moving across the country. Acknowledging a need for change in your life is the first step.
I’ve learned through coaching that it’s really tough to make a change until your current state of affairs hurts more than the anticipated pain and effort of making a change. Recognizing this natural cycle can help you tackle change head-on.
Tips to Accept the Challenge of Change
- Focus on what’s in your power. It’s easy to get bogged down by things you can’t change (including the behavior of others). Instead, put your faith and energy towards what you can change — starting with your own attitude!
- Be honest with yourself, about yourself. For change to be effective and not just a nice idea, you need to get real about the habits, attitudes, and actions standing in the way of change. Glaring honesty can be painful, but acknowledging your need for and the benefits of growth will push you towards positive change.
- Take baby steps. An overnight overhaul is rarely practical or effective in making a change. Instead, map a path to your goals using small steps (like answering three job postings daily, or exchanging 30 minutes in front of the TV for a walk around your neighborhood) and specific daily, weekly, and monthly actions that will move you closer to achieving your goals.
- “Eat the frog.” Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Because change can be difficult, apply this same approach to tackle your most unpleasant roadblocks to change.
As your coach I am dedicated to helping you reach your fullest potential. Through my Leap Forward Coaching method I offer a proven process and life-changing experience to be intentional about your personal and professional growth — including taking on the challenge of change for greater success and happiness.