From transformational life coaching, mentoring and on to more concentrated therapeutic settings, there’s one thing that unites them: change.
Clients approach those services from a want to change something(s) in their life to make it better. Which is an outstanding move, because as a percentage of the human population they are the outliers, the anomalies who have chosen to seek an improved way to be.
People by definition are very habitual creatures and frequently slaves to comfort.
Even when someone identifies one or multiple things they want to transform, that’s often where it begins and ends.
Diets, exercise, new habits, new routines, addictions, compulsions, and changes in mindset are just some of the things that many people find difficult to change by themselves.
And some never even identify things they should change. That’s where the power of a different perspective can be tremendously valuable.
Even when people do act and adjust their life, seldom are the effects long term.
A common outcome is that a change is made for a few weeks and then abandoned as in the self-delusion of a New Year’s resolution, defined by an arbitrary date on the calendar.
Remember, every day is a good day for a resolution.
To improve the odds of success in implementing alterations there also has to be a long term vision for lasting beneficial changes.
From organisations on down to our individual self, change can not only be very difficult to implement it is one of the most resisted aspects of daily living.
There is a clear picture regarding people and change: without a desire to change, no change will happen.
Also say goodbye to the saviour complex. Nobody is here to make some one make their life better.
If people don’t want to put the effort in, I’d honestly advise they save themselves the time and money and avoid life coaching or similar services until they are ready.
It would be easy to label resistance to change as laziness.
I’ve experienced being called lazy and it was not productive. Nor was it accurate. But at some stage I had to motivate myself and find my own way beyond traumatic events and a far from ideal start to life, to take ownership of my own destiny. Forward progress was a route to take or not take and it took maturity, learning to be disciplined and accrued confidence to do so.
In transformative endeavours it helps that some people are more open to change which increases the chances of long lasting change occurring. And as mentioned the initial want for change has to be there.
Much also depends on where we’re at in our life journey, and what demons we have had to battle and may still be battling. Never underestimate them.
Generally, people like some form of routine, regardless of whether that is a productive one or not. That’s an element of human nature to battle, in the same arena as comfort.
We also require – require – stimulation and novelty which is why routines need an injection of ‘newness’ even if just tweaks.
Lazy is too often used to describe people and is in itself lazy. There is a reason why action is not happening, from psychological factors to physiological which must be investigated truthfully to establish ways to overcome them.
It is frequently said that it takes three weeks to break a habit. I think that’s very generous. Two weeks is plenty of time to see and feel a significant shift to new habits.
The three week rule also applies more to external events such as getting up at an earlier time, or deciding to go for a run four times a week.
Changes to our mindset, our thoughts and beliefs can take much longer, in correlation with the length of time they’ve been a part of our thought processes. But the result is always worth it!
A life coach’s role is to aid the process of positive change(s).
A good illustration is from sports. Athlete’s have coaches for a set of very specific reasons. Apart from knowledge and expertise, coaches are there to help athletes be accountable and push them to perform, for motivation.
But as in any part of life, it is down to individual desire to become better that counts over time. Exceptional performers hold themselves highly accountable for their performance – even without a coach.
The coach then serves to extract the thin margins, the extra percentage points.
Functioning as a duo, coach and athlete maximise the performance outcomes, the same as in life coaching.
Levers of Change
Change is healthy and necessary to push forwards in life, to avoid under stimulation and the demotivational effects of that.
Comfort is often demonised but is an essential component of happy living. But at some point we tend to desire a break from that too depending on mentality.
Personal evolution stagnates when comfort outweighs challenge.
If you want transformation to occur consider the points below:
- To provide optimal conditions for change you have to want it to happen.
- Keep expectations reasonable. Few things kill change faster than unrealistic expectations.
- Be accountable to your self.
- Discover and experiment with your motivational levers. What works and what doesn’t?
- Plan and write out the change(s) desired.
- Incorporate a long term view of the change.
Knock over the first domino, and there will be an effect