“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” (Tolstoy)


Change in at the heart of coaching and I want to write about it today. Wherever I look, I see people yearning for change- in their personal life, at work, in creating better relationships. I like to remind myself often that change in circumstances is a result of a change in us and when I feel I am going around in circles about the same issue, I know I have not changed.

I scramble with change and while I understand some things about it in theory, I am, like some people, wanting to flow in the river of contentment but occasionally get stuck between the banks of rigidity on one side and chaos on the other.

We know when the time to change has arrived. We feel it when we have moved into dissonance (when values we personally feel passionate about do not fit into the values of the system you are part of , system meaning family, work, friendship…etc). This dissonance produces frustration that moves us to change and we know it in our heart. The heart says what we need to change in ourselves but our mind says that change is hard, delicate, fragile and chaotic. So we keep swimming between rigidity, uncertainly and chaos.

All theories of the psychology of change show us that there is a way to change. The commonality of those theories is that it has to be a conscious, consistent and dedicated effort so we can gently move into an altered state of mind and start changing our own perceptions so that we can open up to a new perspectives. I can talk to you about those theories or neuroscience for hours but it will not elevate my yearning to know more about why I keep failing to change.

What I experience is that no matter how crystal clear I am about what I want to change in myself, it is overwhelming to “unlearn” my patterns and I find myself lost. Then I start judging my progress, I get frustrated and eventually walk off only to return later wanting to change myself even more.  How do I get out of this cycle of wants and frustration?

Through my Heart Project I have seen many people fighting the same frustrations and this is what seems to be common in us all:

  • To change something that no longer serves us is an act of courage. It takes immense courage to think, feel and act differently about things. It takes courage to admit when we are being arrogant, self-righteous or judgemental. But this is the only way to grow- to face what is stopping us from growth.
  • Changing ourselves brings the deepest vulnerability in us. Full stop.
  • To change is to be challenged in our core and it takes clarity and authenticity to stand in the storm when we are challenged. We need to be clear about what we are changing and what we envisage to change into. Without this we will not be able to remain consistent.
  • To change is to evolve and we need to believe that by changing we are evolving into something better.
  • When we are changing we must listen to our guiding tool and guidance regularly so we do not lose motivation and hope that change is for our better self.

For another reflection please go to; https://beheartsmartblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/change-please/

 

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