The Change Process

The "change process" can be a challenging one. This is especially true when the past has been marked by failures and negative experiences. However, the past has passed. It has no magical, automatic, all-encompassing influence on the present and future. At most, your past makes it harder for you to make present changes. Harder, yes — but not impossible! With effort, practice, learning, time, patience, determination and the encouraging friendship of a professional coach you can make the changes you have always wanted to make.

To facilitate this change process further, it is always beneficial to know what is specifically involved. Whether it is in the area of nutrition, depression, physical activity, weight loss, changing eating habits, or self-esteem, most people who are embarking on a process of change will progress through the following stages. Knowing what to expect can often mean the difference between failure and success:

In Stage One you hold on to a good number of untruths. These untruths (e.g. since I failed in the past I never will be able to do this) serve to create a degree of defeatism or self inflicted misery. Holding on to these untruths does not help you realize your goals, but since they are familiar you stay with them. Though painful and harmful, you cling to old habits, actions, attitudes, and ways of thinking.

When you put your effort together and decide to make certain changes, you discover that you are not feeling better...but worse. As a response to your desire to change, you encounter the energy of self-resistance. When you take some positive steps to change your habits, actions, and attitudes your discomfort and pain actually increases. This is a crucial point in the change process for it is here that many decide that the benefits are not worth the discomfort. In short order you will be back to your old thinking and practices. You will conclude that once again it did not work.

If you battle your way through Stage Two, you will now begin to experience some of the positive results of your hard work. Your awareness, knowledge, and accomplishments give you encouragement. You will actually start to see some change. Also, your discomfort level will start to be reduced. No matter what your issues are — nutrition, physical activity, or emotional health — you maintain your determination to change and you begin to feel more hope and less stress.

This is another extremely crucial stage. The very real challenge here is to keep yourself from falsely believing that the goal has been achieved. Because of your progress and the numerous positive changes, your confidence is beginning to increase. The fact remains, though, that you must continue to work hard at the change process. In this stage you must revisit your goals and remind yourself that change is going to have to be an ongoing way of life.

During Stage One the benefits and blessings of change were but distant dreams. Now, because you refused to be complacent and refused to be defeated, your energy has increased, your health is better, and your future has taken on a new light. You realize that life means that a constant range of issues will continue to come your way. And work, effort, and new insights will need to be applied to each new challenge. Now, the issues are faced with hope and positive, constructive, realistic solutions. Satisfaction, personal growth, and a very real sense of well-being are sure to follow.


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