When I started my coaching journey with The Coaching Academy 5 years ago, little did I know just how much my life would change let alone those lives around me. The lyrics of the song: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways and no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change".
This is exactly what I did and I never looked back from the moment that decision was made.
Change can be scary and you may well go through a range of emotions whilst on the journey…
Step 1. Identify your biggest fear?
It is often said that FEAR stands for False Evidence that Appears Real and this can hold you back from achieving your goal. Some people may have a fear of failure whilst others fear success. Whatever your fear is make sure you work to recognise it. My motto is that “failure is not an option”. The reason is I believe this is because until you stop trying, the reality is you haven’t failed, you have just learnt from your mistakes along the way. You go through, around or over the obstacles that are in front of you. People who fear success generally self sabotage just at the point they are going to take the podium position. One thing that I remember from my childhood is my Dad telling me “unless you are going to win there is no point in entering the race”. This belief created my competitive nature and over time I have changed that belief and recognise that there are 3 places on a podium and everyone on that podium is a winner having their successful moment. It’s there for the taking so embrace the challenge.
2. Understand the beliefs you hold when experiencing change?
This depends on where you are on the change curve. John Fisher explains this on his transition curve.
• Anxiety – “Can I cope?”
• Happiness – “At last, somethings going to change!”
• Fear – “What impact will this have?” “How will it affect me?”
• Threat – “This is bigger than I thought”
• Denial – “Change, what change?”
• Guilt – “Did I really do that?”
• Depression – “Who am I?”
• Disillusionment – “I’m off, this isn’t for me!”
• Hostility – “I’ll make this work if it kills me!!”
• Gradual Acceptance – “I can see myself in the future”
• Moving Forward – “This can work and be good”
3. Responding to change
How you respond to the change is first being able to understand yourself, recognise the thoughts and feelings that are triggering your behaviour. Start to work on an action plan to improve your thoughts, feelings and behaviour so that you continue to move forward. When working with my clients I ask them to plot themselves on the transition curve at the start of the journey, midway and at the end. I find that this is a great visual tool to measure the success of the clients coaching journey and remember to celebrate success along the way.
4. Identify your strengths?
When going through change, it’s empowering to focus on your strengths, the things that you are good at. An excellent tool you can use is a SWOT analysis. Make a list under the following headings and ask yourself these questions.
Remember change comes from within and begins with the man or woman in the mirror, decide to create your own handbook to success. I did and you can too! Coaching can be the catalyst to change. Let me know what changes you have decided to make in the comments below
Claire Cahill is a Confidence and Leadership Coach specialising in Employee Engagement which gave her the material to write her books