Making Change Stick

Hi {ContactFirstName},

When you are trying to make a change do you often hear yourself say “why can’t I get this right?”, “what’s wrong with me?”, OR "why is this taking so long?"

I hear these questions all the time when I am coaching people that requires a change.  

Change takes practice and using what I call COAL.  While some changes take place internally, most involve interacting with other people. COAL is appropriate and useful when making individual changes or changes that involve others. COAL means being:

Curious: Notice and ask questions of yourself and others with the inquisitiveness of an investigator and the innocence of a child.  

Observant: Be observant and aware of body language, tone of voice, feelings, sensations, thoughts, beliefs, tensions, and external environmental factors affecting you and others.

Accepting: Accept what is happening in the moment. It is what it is, you can not change it right now. Resistance is futile; acceptance is what makes movement and change possible.

Loving: Be gentle on yourself and others during times of change. Do not beat yourself up for taking so long to “get it right”. It took time; sometimes years to get where you are now and it will take time to make change happen. “Getting it right” is an illusion, and it  changes depending on who’s judging the “rightness”.

Change is a process of reprogramming yourself to do something in a different way.  It takes place in the whole body, not just in one area of your body. Taking a holistic approach facilitates the change process and moves it forward quicker. Our emotions, thoughts, feelings, spirituality, and relationships all take place in our body. Our body is not separate for any of them. We are busy 24/7 processing between 20,000 – 60,000 thoughts, feelings, emotions, or sensations a minute. Yes, a minute. Our brain moves at a speed equivalent to 400 MPH. We are complex beings.

When looking at changing one thing in our complex being, it’s important to remember it takes more than just thinking differently. The change needs to engage your whole being, and everything it comes in contact. 

COAL is a starting point in allowing you to move forward but it is not enough to just practice COAL. Every change process, be it a system change at work, improving goal achievement with your employees, putting yourself out in the dating world after a series of bad relationships, or changing how you and your spouse communicate, benefits by having a strong support network.

The term I have been using is “SNL”, no it’s not Saturday Night Live…. It means Support Network for Living. 

Webster’s defines support as: to promote the interests or cause of; to uphold or defend as valid; to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of; to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for; to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage.

Network is defined as: a fabric or structure of cords, or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings; an interconnected or interrelated chain, group or system.

Five areas to consider when developing a SNL or when looking at facilitating holistic change are: Emotional, Spiritual, Relational, Mind, and Body. One support system or person may feed several area of your SNL, however, different support is needed to sustain a healthy positive professionally and personally life. 

Facilitate holistic change by being Curious, Observant, Accepting and Loving in the Emotional, Spiritual, Relational, Mind and Body arenas of your life and develop a strong Support Network for Living.

Do you have a Support Network for Living? 

Sue E. Thomas
Professional Certified Coach 

Please note my email address has changed to:

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