The Power of Change-- and What Makes It Successful

Like many people, I’ve been following the uprising in Egypt over the past couple of weeks with hope and amazement.  To have a groundswell of people from all sectors of society coming together as peacefully as possible to call for a government responsive to people’s needs is an enormous expression of frustration with years of repression.  As a life coach, it’s fascinating to see on this large a scale, important coaching principles come to life-- to have a vision, claim your own life, acknowledge and move past your fears, be called forth into a new way of interacting, and step forward into your dream.  In Egypt, the protesting population are doing all of this-- or learning to do so.

On another change front, I recently participated in one of a series of interviews with professionals in law, financial planning, career coaching, health and fitness, etc.,  facilitated by my coaching colleague, Edi Spanier-- called Divorce by Design-- for the benefit of women in the process of divorce.  Divorce is a huge life experience that is often fraught with emotional and financial misery.  However, going through a divorce is also a time when many women learn to take charge of their lives, decide what’s really important to them, and learn new skills to make this possible.

In both these situations, there are people who have reached the point where enough is enough, and a separation from a habitual way of life is vital in order to live with aliveness and fulfillment into the future.  So what can we learn from both these situations?  What makes for change that is powerful and effective?  In my personal and professional experience, a transition to a new reality that is transformative and lasting, not reactive and limited, needs to include the following:

* A vision of where you want to go

* A plan for getting there

* Willingness to take certain risks and be open to new possibilities

* Support (therapy, coaching, family, community) that validates your vision, your feelings, your needs, and your learning-- and help you take appropriate action

* Understanding what resources you require and how to find them

* Patience with and commitment to a change process that doesn’t always seem clear or possible, and may end up looking different from what you expected

Finally, a truly successful, lasting change is the result of a transition in which the vision (desired career, new way of living, a new form of government) you have held and created for yourself is fully in alignment with the person you really are.  Change that fulfills you is part of a journey in which you are committing to a fuller, richer way of being and living-- and trusting that this is possible for you.