I was coaching a man recently, and his reaction to the call for change was classic.
To Jack, changing meant he wouldn't be the person he used to be. About that, we agreed. He wouldn't be his old self any longer.
As he contemplated change, his concerns began to surface. "I don't want to lose myself. I mean, I'm me. I've been this way all of my life. Anything else would feel phony and awkward."
Jack also admitted that he was concerned about how others would see him and respond to the changes. He worried that he wouldn't be seen as credible. "Who's going to believe it?"
I offered the thought that changing wouldn't make him less of who he is. He'd become more. He'd have access to more of his whole self which includes parts and behavior patterns he knows well, parts and potential that are less familiar, and skill and abilities that are underdeveloped.
"Jack, any time you want to stop using the new skill, you can. At will, you can go back to your old way because whatever you change – a behavior, a mindset, a belief – it's still yours. You can call it up and begin using it again, any time you choose. In a very real sense, you haven't lost anything, you've added something."
Jack breathed a sigh of relief. "That makes perfect sense. It seems so simple when you say it that way. I'm in. I'll give it a try."
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of change. Become more of who you really are.
Make a decision to let go of LIES That Limit your freedom of choice, your effectiveness at work, your success in relationships, your willingness to take action and make changes for your own good.
Try something you've been wanting to do. Learn a skill that intrigues you. Give up a habit that no longer serves you. Adopt a new behavior or perspective that will help you live better now.
When you add new experiences, beliefs and behaviors to your repertoire, you expand your capacity, broaden your range of capability, and deepen your awareness of your limitless potential. Emboldened with a new skill set and perspective, you're equipped to do more, to embody more of who you really are. You take another step in the direction of wholeness.
So, what about you? What changes are calling to you – changes that might help you gain access to more of your whole self?
My personal answer is simple. I have made two commitments to myself:
- I'm going to give myself a morning and an afternoon practice of taking ten deep, conscious breaths with the goals of relaxing, clearing my mind and energizing my body.
- At least four days a week this winter (I walk during the summer, happily, but avoid the winter winds), I'm going to walk three miles a day. Walking helps me to inhabit my body, work out the kinks, strengthen my legs, lungs and heart, build physical energy and facilitate mental clarity. I deserve these good gifts all year-round.
Embrace your change – be it large or small – and make 2013 the year you become more of who you really are.