Whatever your emotional bondage is, awareness is the first step to getting free. When we become aware, we are able to start the process.
The change process looks like this:
So when we are in the pre-contemplation phase we need something, a catalyst, to create awareness of the need to change.
Once that awareness is created, we move to the contemplation stage.
While we are in the contemplation stage, we have the chatterbox inside of our heads telling us all the reasons why we shouldn’t change.
Now change is an interesting process because it is uncomfortable. It creates a state known as “perturbation”. Now that very interesting sounding word simply means, a state of flux, a state of movement where things are not settled.
Now when we are in a state of perturbation, we have the fight, flight and freeze mechanisms going off in our heads.
You see, we are pre-designed to want to stay in our comfort zone, so it takes a lot of effort to actually change because you have to go outside of your comfort zone for it to happen.
So understanding this, you will also understand why there is a period of preparation.
When we are in the preparation stage, we are answering the ‘what if’ questions. We are seeking to understand how the change will benefit us or negatively impact us. It is at this stage that we need to start to create supportive vision planning. What I mean by this is that we set before us things, plans, visual aids etc, that will help us to gather the momentum internally that is necessary to action the change.
Imagine it is like a swing. In the preparation stage, we are getting that swing really moving because once it is in full swing we can launch ourselves off the swing, using the momentum we have already created.
Now we are in the action stage, we are stepping out and starting to implement the change.
Unfortunately, most people think that making the change is where it all ends. However, there is a process of maintenance that is required, whether the change is something as small as starting a new routine in your life or starting a diet. Once you achieve your goal, you need to maintain whatever it is to ensure that the change sticks, otherwise you may relapse.
Now if you do relapse there are two kinds of relapse…one is a temporary relapse, where you immediately revert to the changed state and start maintenance again, or there is relapse where you go right back to being pre-contemplative.
So let’s take a look at a practical example of this from my life recently…
This is the heart-set challenge journal, available to those who register for the challenge on the home page.
I started the 28 Day Heart-Set Challenge. What it meant was that I had to change my daily routine to include a time where I just sat and listened to my heart, then wrote in my journal what my heart was saying to me.
Prior to starting the challenge, I had been through a process. I recognised that I needed to become more centred in my life, as I was involved in so many things and feeling very spread energetically. So my pre-contemplative state was doing things from my mind and not from my heart. thought about the concept for several months – this was my pre-contemplation and contemplation stages. Then I just had this urge to give it a go. To help myself to push through the barriers of my own comfort, I went public. By going public, I forced myself to commit 100% to the challenge and daily, when I am thinking I can’t be bothered, I am motivated by the thought that people are depending on me to do this properly so that I can be a guide to them. This has helped me to maintain the challenge.
Once I transitioned into the contemplation stage, I thought about the concept for several months. Then I just had this urge to give it a go. To help myself to push through the barriers of my own comfort, I went public. By going public, I forced myself to commit 100% to the challenge and daily, when I am thinking I can’t be bothered, I am motivated by the thought that people are depending on me to do this properly so that I can be a guide to them. This has helped me to maintain the challenge.
Fortunately, so far I haven’t had a relapse. 🙂