Summer is officially here! … and you may have noticed the clearance sales … banners yelling “Everything has got to go.”
What about the aspects of yourself that you are now ready to change? Maybe you need a clearance of your life?
Most people want to turn their weaknesses into strengths.
Shy individuals want to be more confident.
People who lack motivation desire that internal drive.
Those who tend to see things through negative lenses wish to be more positive and optimistic. However, no matter how much they want to change, it always seems to be easier said than done.
Human beings usually fear change: instead of stepping out of their comfort zone and doing something different, it is sometimes easier to stay where they are, even if they are not happy, because at least it is predictable…in a weird way… it’s what they are used to.
It is important for us to recognize that there are different stages of change.
Think about an area in your life or a bad habit you are trying to change and see what stage of change you are in.
Stages of Change
Pre-Contemplation – changes or transformations are not considered. This is a state where individuals are still in self-denial, ignoring the negative habits they possess.
Contemplation – individuals acknowledge the need for change but are ambivalent about it. Pros (e.g., I would feel better, more energized) and cons (e.g., I won’t have the patience to carry it through)
Preparation – preparation and experimentation of changes. Small changes are sometimes made.
Action –actions are taken to attempt transformation. This stage takes a lot of courage and constant encouragement is often necessary.
Maintenance and Relapse – this is an adjustment phase, during which individuals slowly adapt to the new habit, while continuously learning new behaviours to ensure that the change stays. Sometimes old habits surface and people return to their old routine (relapse). As long as the new habit is constantly practiced, old habits will eventually go away. This is the key stage that determines success.
Now that you have a clear idea of the stages we go through when transforming our lives, ask yourself what stage you are in … what would it take to move you to the next level?
Making a change usually consists of giving something else up.
Don’t feel discouraged when the transformation process is overwhelming. It is supposed to be tough.