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What do you think about when you hear the word change? What do you feel about change? What memories does change stir? What famous people in history do you think brought about the change?
The interesting thing about change is we judge those who are agents of change, not unlike how we judge ourselves. More confounding about change is that we fear it. We fear the unknown that change brings. We even fear the process of the change mainly because personal change can be long, challenging, and overwhelming.
So, let’s talk about the process of change and see if we can make this intimidating task a little bit easier to swallow.
There are five stages of change that can help you when you approach this subject:
1. Precontemplation: be aware of a challenge or problem that you might want to change
2. Contemplation: consider making a change
3. Preparation: be ready to make small changes and ready for changes coming
4. Action: start to make adjustments to move toward the vision of change
5. Maintenance: begin to replace old behaviors with new behaviors
When I first learned about these stages of change, I was in graduate school and struggling with the idea of going from being an adolescent in college to a young adult. The process of adulting after school was beyond unknown, scary, and unbelievable in ways I couldn’t comprehend.
By breaking down the process of change into smaller pieces, I approached the act of change a little easier. Smaller steps would add up to more significant actions. After I was aware of the change process, I asked myself some questions.
These same questions might help you as they helped me:
1. What challenges you?
2. What do you want to change in your life?
3. Where can you start?
4. How might you start?
5. Who might assist you, support you, and be your cheerleader for change?
6. What is your motivation for change?
These questions can help you prepare to make plans for change. But, more importantly, asking ourselves these questions helps us learn. Learning might be the inspiration to make a change.
Learning can motivate. Learning can create more opportunities. Learning builds confidence to help us take the actions required for change and maintain our changes.
With compassion and kindness and the desire to share with others,
©Photo by Arthon meekodong via Canva.com