What is Change Anyway?
Below you will find two version of this blog, written and video. I have kept the video brief and included more content and detail in the written form. Feel free to email me any questions as I have decided to devote future blogs to answering client questions.
Before we get into my definition of change, take a few moments to write down your definition of Change.
In the last video blog, I spoke about how goal setting and change is complex and most approaches to goal setting were developed in a behaviour change context and don’t convert well to personal development. In that context the goal is behavior change, managing symptoms and not personal development. When we are talking about personal development and change, I believe we need to apply a different lens to our understanding of change.
CHANGE IS GROWTH!
Real change is growth, not symptom management or behavior change. When growth happens, changes literally take place at a body / mind level. New neural pathways are laid down in the nervous system, we access emotions we have never felt before, process them differently, explore memories we have been avoiding and relate in different ways. Ideally leading to a new GESTALT or whole.
Think of it like this – in this moment you are a unique you, made up of everything you have experienced, learnt (including the coping strategies you don’t like), not learnt and integrated in your life. When growth happens, something new is added to this whole forming a NEW gestalt.
Can you see why one of the 6 Stages in the True Self is Creating and Integrating New Experiences?
A very powerful yet simple metaphor is the SEED METAPHOR. Like seeds we are designed to grow! By adding water, soil, and sunshine the seed receives what it needs to grow, and an innate intelligence takes over and does the rest! If we can trust the process, get out of our own way, and follow your experience growth will happen. The 7 supports that support growth that I focus on in the True Self Method are the universal supports I have found we all need to grow. By adding them to your life, growth will just happen!
YOU ARE THAT SEED!
Too many approaches to change focus on trying to take something away or get rid of something. This simply won’t work because the brain (or your gestalt) is designed to add things and grow, not subtract things. Further, the very things you are trying to get rid of or avoid have the exact learning and GROWTH you need. Therefore, the goal is to re-establish the natural conditions for growth, so your seed can keep growing.
CAN YOU SEE WHY MOST MODELS OF BEHAVOUR CHANGE DON’T APPLY TO PERSONAL GROWTH?
Using the seed metaphor, we can see that focusing on growth supports a different approach to change and opens up a different approach and options. These include:
- New ways of understanding goals
- New way of understanding the change process
- Exploring new ways to be with your experience
- Being with your experience in a way that facilitates growth
- Trusting the process
- Experiencing Joy
Go back to the definition of change you wrote down at the beginning. What changes would you make to your definition now?
The key take home from this blog is that approaching change as growth using the seed metaphor opens up different possibilities and options and helps us tap into our True Self. By being open, trusting the process, joyful, accepting and curious, the natural process of perpetual growth can be re-established, and you can continue to grow from what life throws at you instead of being knocked off your feet!
Future topics in this series will include, The Power of Being Exactly Where You Are, Process vs Content Goals, and Trust.
I am here to help.