What stops you (from changing?)

Think about that change you want to make. It could be stopping something, starting something or just doing something differently.

What stops you?

It is interesting when you ask a coaching or clinical client this question. The common answer is some highly plausible sounding ‘reason’ – which is not actually true.  People who struggle to answer a question will fill in gaps with socially acceptable’ ideas.  It is a natural response to a question that you don’t really know how to answer (or it feels too hard or risky to answer).  When we ask this question of ourselves, we can often ‘rationalise’ our current stasis and come to believe what we tell ourselves.

What reasons do you give to others or yourself for not changing?

Are they true – or is the real answer too scary, risky or hard to articulate?

When you hear yourself making the reason about the circumstances (Its not the right weather, right time, the right situation etc) then it is likely that the answer may be a, ‘excuse’.  It is easy to blame things beyond our control rather than own that it is only ourselves that are truly responsible for driving our own change.

What is it about you that stops you?

Often the most honest answer can simply be ‘I don’t know’. This is often difficult for people to admit (even to themselves) because being stuck is not a happy place, and admitting you don’t know can imply that you cannot change (and all that implies about you)

However, this is often the best answer you can give, because if you knew what was stopping you, you could start trying to find a way past it to the change you want to achieve.

There are many reasons we get stuck:

  • We don’t really know what it looks like on the other side of the change.
  • We know how much effort the change will take.
  • We may not know the benefit of changing.
  • We may not have the skills to change.
  • We might not believe that we can change, or that we deserve to change.
  • We might be anxious about all of the uncertainty about the change process, and therefore find it more comfortable to stay where we were.
  • None of the options look any good – but we have to take a decision to move in one direction or another.

Coaching and clinical clients can make huge strides when the can really understand what is stopping them.  This opens up a whole new space to explore the change curve in greater detail, looking at what is needed to maximise the value and outcome of shifting from being stuck to something new.

Once you navigate this first challenge in understanding what keeps you stuck, the next trick is deciding what has to be done to reach your desired outcome. Then you get to decide if that is worth the effort. Getting Unstuck then takes effort and experimentation, and a willingness to do things differently to get a different (hopefully better) outcome.

What change do you want to make?

What stops you?

If you want to master your personal change curve but feel stuck, then get in touch and let me help you break your change down and help you decide on your path to where you want to go.