From Change-Averse to Change-Agent: Two Ends of the Spectrum

Embracing Change as a Catalyst for Personal Development

All the clients with whom I have worked with so far, share a common denominator. After the third or fourth coaching session they confess that somehow looking into themselves makes them feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Indeed, I know this feeling only too well, having experienced it myself as a coachee.

Through the assessment process, we are meant to confront ourselves, in a positive and constructive way of course, asking hard questions of ourselves. Some of the answers to these questions can hurt deeply. It is a deliberate, disciplined process achieved by reflection, introspection and self-awareness.

I have become obsessed with personal development, self-improvement and success, and thus I have dedicated a significant amount of time to reading the relevant literature. One thing I have learned is that the power of transformation is infinite and there is no magic secret to it, other than willpower and motivation. The greater your motivation to change a certain behaviour, habit or circumstance, the stronger your willpower will be.

However, we know this is easier said than done. We tend to constantly avoid change and reason with ourselves why it is difficult to achieve any sort of personal transformation. We have become change-averse. Many of us, after several months or years of struggle, become comfortable with a daily routine, so, at this stage why should you want to change anything? In this moment, you decide that change is not necessary and not an option. We become the defenders of our status quo, sidestepping all that produces change in our lives. As if somehow our brain is wired to believe that change is not welcome. You maybe think: “I have reached a comfortable place, maybe I am not that happy or fulfilled, but I am familiar with my routine, duty, tasks, activity, environment, etc.”

Let me break the spell and tell you something. Change is everywhere and it is inevitable, especially in today’s fast-paced global, digital world. Therefore, we should prepare ourselves in advance for change since it is not always in our power to prevent it from happening. I consider that the best thing we can do is to work on our approach towards change and welcome it.

Topics involving personal development seem to be more important to people nowadays, as they appear more often in Google searches and this is quite understandable. We currently have more time on our hands than ever before and social isolation has provoked more introspection. The process of introspection is described as an evaluation of thoughts, emotions and feelings, or, what Julio Olalla would call, an examination of “the inner realm”. Many of us have been questioning our existence, our role in humanity and whether our life has meaning and purpose.

This pandemic has pushed us to think outside the box and turn things around, as a response mechanism. We see many businesses close to bankruptcy and the majority of people find themselves struggling because they either have been furloughed, fired or are self-employed and they have not been able to earn a cent. You are extremely lucky if this crisis finds you living in a developed country with a fair social security safety net.

Humanity has shown that the survival instinct is profoundly ingrained. This is how we have witnessed the birth of numerous new online dynamics in the workplace, school, businesses and in our private life, as a response to the current social isolation norm. Furthermore, we have shown our enormous ability to quickly adapt ourselves to find solutions to the various challenges we are facing and have integrated new practices into our daily routines for the sake of survival.

In times of difficulty we tend to unleash our potential. Yet it occurs in a sub-conscious way. Fact is that necessity serves as an external driver to automatically set us in a solution-seeking mode. Under these circumstances we unlock our potential, owing to the fact that we start acting without fear, self-doubt, disbelief and self- judgement. Normally this is what holds us back from doing remarkable things. Do you recognise this pattern?

I do not aim to write a philosophical essay, I intend to share these ideas based on my own knowledge, experience and research. To paraphrase Gary Keller, co-author of “The One Thing”, historically we have done a poor job of estimating our limits. So, we should allow ourselves to travel into uncertainty holding our vision clearly. The bigger our vision the brighter it will shine in moments of darkness.

I invite you more than ever to shift your mindset and to stop resisting change. Do the opposite — embrace it. Change is the catalyst for transformation and it is the key to personal development. Remember success requires action and action requires thought. Change your thoughts and you will obtain different results, if that is what you’re looking for.

My clients are definitely seeking to obtain different results, that is why they have decided to challenge themselves, even if it makes them feel highly uncomfortable. They have decided to improve, and they have planted the seed of change, in order to fully flourish in their life and business as they unleash their potential.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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