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7 Principles of Change

A cutout of a persons head in white construction paper with flowers coming out of the top of it against a pastel green background

I recently met with Kathy, a sharp woman who had a lot of energy. As she shared about her week I could tell she was “off.” “How was your week?” I probed. Kathy had laid out a plan to meet some goals and dreams that were important to her. In the midst of carrying out the action steps I helped her put together, something came over her that she did not expect. Fear.

One definition of fear is:
Avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid.

I asked Kathy what she was afraid of. She said “change.” She realized she needed to change in order to attain her goals and dreams. Change may be exhilarating to some people and terrifying to others. Here are seven ways to look at change. They may not be new to you, but if you are in the “terrifying” camp, hopefully, this will be an encouragement.

  • Change means movement. Movement means friction. Friction is a rub that may bring pain. Pain can motivate you in the right direction.
  • Change is letting go of things that are familiar and comfortable, even though they may not be good for us.
  • Some people view change as a threat, not as a challenge or an opportunity. If that is you, how can you reframe change? What can you do to focus on the outcome of that change?

Would you rather be safe or satisfied?

  • Some view change as exciting and invigorating. Too much change too quickly may not always be profitable.
  • Most people don’t initiate change, especially when things are going smoothly. It takes wisdom to know when to make changes.
  • Without change, growth is impossible.
  • People need anchors that provide stability when change is occurring. Anchors are your belief and trust in God, your values, or your confidence in making decisions. Someone in your life who you trust can be an anchor too. The anchor will keep you focused and grounded as you change and grow into your goals and dreams.

As I shared these 7 Principles of Change with Kathy she had a new awareness. Fear was traded for understanding. Change wasn’t this big bad thing that was against her. It was actually going to be a benefit for her. She was able to see it as a growth opportunity and was able to accept it through coaching.

Now, I’m not saying that it made it that much easier for Kathy. Whenever changes are needed, there will be times of frustration, low confidence, exhilaration, and sometimes even chaos, all at the same time! But the payoffs will be worth it. Trade in the attitude of fear and embrace change, even if it’s a little at a time.

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett