Are you seeking something better, a more refined life, more fulfilling than the way things are now? What is that for you? What could be different today that would make you feel more fulfilled, engaged, and satisfied at work or in your personal and professional relationships? What’s missing from your life? And what could you do to change that?
Follow these simple steps to begin the process. Transformation here is defined as individual and collective change. As a note, I use these guidelines in both personal and professional coaching and consulting. The examples that I use, are within the context of leadership, equity, diversity and wellness change. I’ve included a free resource and writing activities to assist you.
It’s important to remember that every transformation, collective or individual, begins with a very simple question: “Why?”. Understanding the source or our “why” is the first step to any change. For example, if you are a big business and you’d like to implement shared leadership models or diversity and equity initiatives, your leadership team should get to the source of your why. If you are an individual looking to make a healthy lifestyle change, finding your true purpose in that goal requires assessment and reflection. When looking at your purpose it is important to consider three things:
1. NAME THE SOURCE OF YOUR MOTIVATION.
Is your motivation fear-based or choice-based? Many of us feel the pull to change based on fear. That is, we fear losing, being judged by others, or out of shame. If you represent a business that seeks change because other big companies are doing it or that you are afraid of offending a group of people or public reprimand, that is a fear-based decision. Choice-based motivations are open and primed for sincere and authentic engagement. That is when we choose something because we genuinely want it sustains us for the long term. When we are motivated by fear, it paralyzes us, things feel as if they’re done by force and we are bound for burnout and short-term wins.
Write down what you believe in, what your values are and how this goal aligns with your personal values, and who you believe deep down you would like to be and the legacy or mark that you’d like to leave behind for the world and others. Ask yourself: “ Am I doing this out of fear (to please, avoid judgment, etc.) or Am I doing this as a conscious and personal choice and collective good? ”
2. CREATE A LIST OF COSTS AND BENEFITS (Print Cost/Benefit Worksheet)
When you learn, you grow. What resources and information did you discover that shifted you from a fear-based source to making a conscious choice? Are you willing to look at the whole picture through learning, observing, and listening? Use what you are learning from books, people, and your own personal experiences to jot down costs and benefits.
Take out a piece of paper or print out this free worksheet. Draw a line down the middle of it. On the left side, write down “Costs”. On the right side of your page, write down “Benefits”. On the left side ask the question, “What could I lose? From this?”. For example, if you are a business you may fear company division or losing your best leaders over the course of the organizational transition. If you are an individual hoping to lose weight and become healthier, you may lose close family members.
Be specific and conscious about subjective or objective items on your list. On the right side of your paper under “Benefits”, write down a list of all the positive aspects of your desired change. Ask the question, “ If this choice is made, how will it impact me/us positively?” Be clear and specific about how this will benefit you and others. At the very bottom of the page, list your sources of information and support: What exists out in the world to support your goal? Who can you learn from? Where do you need to start?
3. BE WILLING TO GET UNCOMFORTABLE.
Many of our desires never turn into active choices because of self-judgment or the fear of the judgment of others. It just feels uncomfortable all around. We listen to the side chatter in our minds and often let paralysis by analysis run the show.
Growth happens when you don’t allow your thoughts about yourself or others to take control, now is the time to drive the action through fierce loyalty to the calling you’ve set out to explore. How willing are you to confront your personal fears and judgment of others in order to move toward your desired goals? Making mistakes is always inevitable. Challenges are inevitable. The growth happens where courage meets up with fear and we are able to take an honest look at ourselves and course-correct along the way.
Who do you have on your side willing to support you or your company in the changes that you want to make? What companies or individuals do you know that have made similar choices? What information or resources do you need to continue to make an informed decision and to create an action plan?
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MISSION?
Write down 1-2 sentences that capture the purpose of your goal and why you are willing to stretch beyond your own comfort zone to choose something that fulfills you and motivates you. This will be your personal or organizational mission statement. Choose daily habits that reflect your mission. It will change over time and it will serve as your guiding north star. This is only the beginning of change, but it opens up so many possibilities for positive change.
Let me know what you came up with! I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or your can find me on facebook.com/CoachKap.