The Emotions of Change

A cartoon of a man standing in front of a bookcase.

What motivates us to change? I’ve been fascinated by this question for a long time and recently discovered my own motivation to change as a result of CTI coach training I attended as a participant.

If you’ve attended one of my presentations, you will have heard this one before. Whenever someone asks me, “how can I change my boss?” My reply is always in the form of a joke, “how many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.” The principle is that one can’t change another person as much as one might want to. It doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do. We can point to the evidence of the need to change. Ultimately, it is the individual themselves who must decide to make the change.

In my ‘Balance’ coach training course with fellow Vancouverites, Signy Wilson and Joni Mar (the two most authentic and fun co-facilitators I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from ;-) I really learned a lot from the concept of the relationship between “co” and “active” in “co-active” coaching (the model CTI uses). I learned that one can ‘go through the motions’, but if that isn’t grounded in the ‘essence’ or who one is or grounded in one’s core values, it’s not going to ‘stick.’ Real commitment to change comes when you connect the desired change to your own core values.

I have always been bogged down by disorganization. And, in a way, it’s been my ‘dirty little secret.’ Despite my ‘best intentions’ for getting organized, it’s never been successful. Now that I’m choosing to ground my getting organized in my core value of “Integrity” (the “co”), I feel much more empowered and motivated to take action (the “active”). For me, it doesn’t feel good to talk about taking leadership on various issues in the corporate world when I don’t take leadership on what I know needs my attention.

What about you? What do you need to ground in your essence or connect to your core values?

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