When a person decides to make a positive change, and then resumes life by returning to his or her original environment, usually one of three paths will unfold:
1. The individual, faced with pressure from their surroundings, will revert to old patterns, foregoing the change.
2. The environment will change around the individual until the surroundings match the change introduced.
3. The individual will not be able to remain in their environment and will find a new one, either voluntarily or involuntary. If voluntarily, it’s because the individual recognizes that the change cannot persist in that environment, for any number of reasons. If involuntarily, it’s often because the old environment essentially didn’t welcome them back and kicked them out. The important decision the individual must make here is what to do in the new environment in which he or she lands.
So, I ask you, how well are YOU planning for these scenarios? What can you do to best set yourself up for changing your environment with Path #2, or choosing something new with Path #3?
Only Path #1 stands out as unacceptable to most people who desire change. Yet, it seems nine out of ten times, that’s exactly the path that unfolds. Why on earth do we let that happen?
Unfortunately, it has everything to do with human nature’s good old friend, Frankie Fear (thanks Rocky!). When faced with change, we think about what we might be losing or leaving behind and how little we know about what’s coming next. It makes it really, really easy to revert to old patterns.
We find ourselves keeping those same old commiserating companions in the workplace; the companions with whom we keep on gossiping and complaining, instead of fixing and solving.
Slowly, but surely, we begin to think thoughts like, “Well, maybe I don’t need to change that much. Maybe things aren’t so bad the way they are.” It’s a way for your fears to keep you from moving out of your comfort zone, as they force you to “play small” or “play it safe” in the world.
The next thing you know, you’re right back to where you started, when you first decided that you needed a change.
We now understand the scenarios for change, and why so many of us choose to resist making a much needed change, but the real question is: What’s a coach to do?
We’ll explore that question in next Friday’s blog post, “What Would a Coach Do to Facilitate Change?“.
Until next time, Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
Tags: achievement, Add new tag, attitude, change, choice, coaching skills, encouragement, finding purpose, intentions, iPEC Coaching, life coach training, life coaching, new perspective, opportunity, self-improvement, success