Do I have to change?

No, of course you don’t! If something isn’t broken, why fix it? As long as you are happy with yourself and your life, there is no reason to change anything. However, when you begin to experience pain, or when your thoughts and actions start to create problems, you will NEED to change. More often than not we do not WANT to change.

In each and every individual there is an infinite potential for expansion and growth. Not everyone chooses to use it, but it is there! Perhaps the most ironic thing is when people continue to do what they’ve always done and expect to get a different result. Sometimes people who are in a rut just do not KNOW HOW to change.

Forced Change – positive and negative

When I was in my mid twenties, the large corporation I worked for instigated cut backs and asked staff to take voluntary redundancy. I along with most of my peers, were delighted to take the golden handshake and move on to pastures new. We were young and confident enough to know that we would find new employment (I took the money and travelled the world as a volunteer, an adventure I would probably never have experienced without the company push). I remember that many of my colleagues age 50+ were petrified at the thought of being made redundant. They had dedicated their life and skills to the company, worn it’s badge with pride for decades and looked forward to receiving a gold retirement watch. They were comfortable, even though a tad bored at times, and the thought of changing terrified them. For most of their lives these people had avoided change at any price. Interestingly, this is where most of their stress came from. The danger they perceived from change, from the unknown, from not being in control. And this made them reluctant to even approach a coach or adviser. One colleague confided in me at the time. She admitted that she sought safety. She disliked being away from home. She hated going to new restaurants and would never ever consider changing the cosmetic products she used. So you can imagine how threatened she felt being pushed to change her job.
Dr Philip Bereano, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, has the following perspective on the meaning of the word safe as it is understood in most major contexts nowadays. Here is a quote:
“First of all, we need to understand what we mean by the word safe,” he says. “Actually, in terms of the academic literature, “safe” refers to “an acceptable level of risk.” It doesn’t refer to situations where there is no risk. Most of us drive in cars all the time and consider it to be safe even though we know that people are killed and injured in automobiles frequently. We have to understand that safe equals acceptable risk.”

Nothing is absolutely safe, as much as we would like it to be. Therefore we need to adapt and live taking all the possible precautionary actions to stay safe.

My colleague did eventually seek the help of a coach. I helped her focus on the positives that this change could bring about and I worked with her to create her vision of a brighter future as well as setting new goals to achieve those outcomes. The transformation in this woman was incredible. To watch her let go of her fear and anxiety was so rewarding. To see any client mentally dump their heavy bag of burdens is very satisfying.

“dump your heavy bag of burdens”

In closing, I would like to remind you that we all have the power to turn things around in our life, at any point. If you don’t believe this, then you are already a prisoner in a little box – the box in which you have put your mind. Everything begins there, in the mind. But it requires a steadfast willingness to do something when life presents you with challenges and problems where your old ways of doing things do not seem to work any more.

Posted in Change, Choices, Coaching, Future and tagged , , , .

Anne McKeown