How do I begin to make change?

Although there are different types of coaches – and even more methods of coaching – all people who seek out a coach’s service are looking for one similar thing: change.

Incidentally, change is one of those things that humans are naturally inclined to want to resist. For many, change is not only tough, it almost seems painful.

But think about it like this: if you never changed, who would you be? Would you be the 12-year-old you who was last to be picked for the softball team? Would you be the 18-year-old still trying to figure out what life path to take – school or work? Who would you be now if you never changed, if all the experiences you’ve lived through all these years never happened? 

Chances are, looking at change that way makes it easier to accept, and even anticipate. And in some instances, makes it something to look forward to and enjoy. Change means that no matter how bad things are now, someday they won’t be that way. And no matter how good things are now, because change is likely, it’s a good idea to be in the moment and enjoy every bit of it.

But although change is probable, how do you take change into your hands? How do you create change? How do you live your life so you feel as though you’re making the changes, and the changes aren’t making you?

Tip 1: Love your challenges.

When life gets tough, many of us either stick our heads in the sand (flight) or cry or scream it out (or cry or scream at other people, which is fight). But have you ever considered looking at what’s hard and actually being thankful for it?

It’s unrealistic to ask you to enjoy having a hard time – after all, if you’re knee-deep in debt, or if you’re suffering with a broken heart, it would be absolutely nuts to say to you, “Oh, you’re falling apart? Wonderful!”

What we’re saying is to see beyond what’s happening right this instant – the mounting bills, the painful, nauseating feeling of seeing your ex with someone else – and take heart that all of this difficulty is shaping you to be a better, stronger, wiser person. When you’re finally out of debt, you’ll know it’s because you taught yourself better money management skills or got a new job with a bigger salary or learned to do without. When you’re no longer mourning your broken relationship, you’ll know it’s because you were meant for someone different, someone better for you, and for whom you’ll be the sun, moon and stars.

Tip 2: Know what you want to change.

Why are you making the change in the first place? Is your plan in line with your core values? Is it important to you because you want it, and not because your family or significant other or society wants it for you? 

When you can figure out what it is about this change that’s going to make you a more magnificent version of the wonderful you that already exists, that’s going to trigger change naturally.

Tip 3: Go slowly.

Say you’re in your 50s, and you want to go back and get your degree. One just can’t close their eyes and walk across that convocation stage in an instant, right? You have to take small steps – either make sure you’ve got the money, or make an appointment with financial aid to pay for courses. You have to apply to the schools you want to attend. You have to pick your classes. You have to take tests, and so on and so on.

The point is that change takes time, and all the little moments are what come together to make that big change you’re after. Break down the big picture, and celebrate the system, the little baby steps you’ll need to take to get to the end goal.

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