Do you care enough to change?
One of our core values at SRCF is Conscious Leadership. The book, 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, establishes… you guessed it… 15 Commitments for Conscious Leaders. There are important things like taking 100% of your responsibility for everything in your life. Growing in self-awareness and learning to shift your mental and emotional state when you become aware that it’s getting out of line.
In what is essentially the epilogue to the book, they present an equation for how people change. It’s worth sharing with more people, so check it out.
The Change Formula:
(V * D) + FS > R = C
(Idea Credit: Richard Beckhard, David Gleicher refined by Kathie Dannemiller.)
V = Vision – A believable better future.
D = Dissatisfaction – Unhappiness with the present and the future to which it leads.
FS = First Steps – Smallest thing that you could do, that you would do.
R = Resistance – The pressure to remain the same, which is often rooted in fear.
C = Change – Doing something different.
At SRCF, we’re in the change business. Almost everyone who shows up here is trying to do or be something different than they were when they arrived. If you’re still here (I’ve been here for almost 8 years now) then you’re probably still looking for change. We’re also powerfully creatures of habit. If you want to be amazed at how much habit rules you, check out The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It’s almost unbelievable if it wasn’t documented research.
So how do we overcome habit and get to where we’re willing to do something differently?
First, you need a Vision for the future. That Vision has to actually be better than your current reality… TO YOU. If someone wants you to have 6 pack abs, but you couldn’t care less, that vision will not move you to change. Vision has to be personal to be effective to get change.
That vision also has to be believable… TO YOU. I know that if you decide to make all of the right changes and stick with them for the rest of your life, you’ll be able to accomplish all kinds of things. But, and it’s a big ole but, if you don’t trust yourself to make and sustain those changes, you won’t even start down the path. It’s even tougher if you’ve tried and failed in the past.
After you have a Vision for a better future for yourself that is believable to yourself, you need some level of Dissatisfaction with the way things are.
When most people show up to the gym, Dissatisfaction is the thing that moved them to give it a shot. You could also call Dissatisfaction PAIN. Pain over being embarrassed in a bathing suit. Pain that stems from guilt about lifestyle habits that you’re passing onto your kids. Pain about a pending diagnosis of a chronic illness. Pain over trying and failing to get “in shape” on your own.
Or it could be pain that you anticipate in the future. I know that there is some history of dementia in my family and it seems that a high sugar diet and a sedentary lifestyle are contributing factors to early onset dementia. That’s enough for me to say no to more sugary treats and days off than I might otherwise enjoy.
The world can be a painful place, so the list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. You could probably identify your pain points if you think for a moment. Every person has a different threshold for dealing with that stuff which is complicated and balanced in a way that allows them to live in the world while more or less holding things together. If the perceived pain of changing is greater than the perceived benefit, no change. If the current pain is greater than the perceived pain of changing, you have a chance to make some moves.
You’ll notice in the equation that Vision and Dissatisfaction are multiplied together. That’s because they are the key factors in actually getting you to change. A lot of people believe that knowledge is the thing that’s holding them back from a better life, even a tiny bit better life. That’s just not the case, especially in the information age. There is no shortage of information available to you about every kind of change you could hope to make. Plumbers and electricians everywhere rejoice in the job security that youtube provides when they clean up costly DIY mistakes.
Sometimes the toughest part is getting clear on your Vision and level of current Dissatisfaction. In my life, I get the most clarity on those things by writing and by talking with someone I trust to help me unpack the complexity of life. We would love to help you solidify your vision for the future in a Goals Review session. Disciplined effort to get change you don’t care about is drudgery. Disciplined effort to drive you toward your clear Vision for a brighter future leads to freedom.
Thanks for going on this longer than normal trip. I’ll pick up a part 2 next time to unpack the rest of the change formula and invite you to schedule a Goals Review with one of our coaches so we can get clear on your vision and do whatever it takes to help you achieve it!
Here’s to clear Vision and healthy Dissatisfaction with the status quo!
P.S. – If you can’t wait that long, email [email protected] with the subject line “GOALZ” and we’ll get you booked for a review within 48 hours.