My journey over the past few years has brought me through several phases of change. I resisted change for a long time because I had the belief that change had to be painful. As I progressed through my inner transformation quest, I came to realize that it is not change in itself that is painful, but resistance to it!
Change often brings fear. It takes us out of our cocoon, out of our comfort zone. You know, that well-known and familiar place that provides a semblance of security, only until the feeling of being stuck replaces it. We then become confused, out of alignment and unbalanced. And, as the discomfort outweighs the satisfaction of this familiar place, it is time to venture out into change.
This is exactly what hermit crabs do when their shell gets too small. Its only chance for growth and survival is to leave its old shell behind in order to find a new and larger one that will allow it to continue its evolution. The period of transition from the old to the new shell definitely puts it at risk, and yet this is its only way to grow and live! It must repeat this kind of change several times throughout its life.
This is similar to the phases of change that we go through in our lives.
Before you get offended because you are not delighted with the idea of being unconscious or incompetent, I offer you a better understanding of what happens, inside you, when you go through any of these phases of change.
Step 1: Unconsciously Incompetent
This is the stage where you don’t even know you have a problem! During this stage, it’s a little bit as if you were unconsciously reproducing your pattern. When this way of operating no longer gives you the results you want, then you move on to the second step of change.
Step 2: Consciously Incompetent
This is the stage where you realize that your current way of doing things is not producing the results you want. So, you are now aware that you have a problem, but you don’t know how to go about fixing it. It’s during this step that, like our hermit crab friend, the “shell” you were comfortably seated in at Step 1 suddenly becomes uncomfortable!
This step can be even more uncomfortable if, instead of going to step 3, you stay there! It is easy to fall into the trap of documenting yourself on your problematic which only has the effect of justifying your unwanted behaviour. Trust me, I know what I am talking about! Believe me, that just feeds your problem instead of going into the solution mode. It is crippling and keeps you from getting into action towards what you want.
Sometimes the cause is deeper, making it difficult to resolve at the conscious level. NLP coaching is a great alternative to reveal your limiting beliefs and other unconscious blockages that hinder your transformation.
Eventually, your old shell will be so uncomfortable that you will cross over into the third stage of change.
Step 3: Consciously Competent
This is where you step out of your comfort zone to go towards what you want. You take concrete actions, regularly, to transform your pattern and achieve your goal. Depending on the frequency and consistency of your actions, the change will be quicker or slower.
During this period, you will certainly go through questioning that will bring you back to step # 2. This is completely normal since your unconscious mind associates the unknown with danger and it is simply trying to protect you. Be welcoming with yourself as this is part of the process! The important thing is to realize it and get back into action. It is by cumulating actions that you will achieve what you want with more ease.
To facilitate your ascension towards change, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Celebrate every little victory along the way and give yourself time to see and absorb the learnings. Your reaction to the challenges that will arise along the way and the valuable lessons you will learn from them will help you transcend the d
Step 4: Unconsciously Competent
This is the culmination of change, also known as the magical zone. In this last step, your new way of doing things or acting becomes second nature and creates the results you longed for. You master this new way of being and automatically embody it, without even having to think about it.
Funny enough, this step is satisfactory for a while and the duration of this stage may depend on the events that will occur on your path. Eventually, step 4 will turn into step 1 to restart the cycle of change that will allow you to flourish and evolve again. Fortunately, your previous learnings provided you with strength, and you are now equipped to go through the change process more easily and more smoothly.
The more you dare to step out of your comfort zone, the more it will expand. The more you are open to feedback by grasping the learnings along the way, the more you will thrive. The more you embrace change, the easier it will become to transform yourself.
My greatest awareness of change is that change is not a finality. It’s the journey to change that makes all the difference and that’s what makes it so wonderful! The more receptive I am to the learning that the process brings me, the smoother, lighter and more enjoyable it becomes. The more I put myself into action, despite my fears, the more I gain in confidence and the more I am proud of myself.
What if we stop seeing change as a threat and tame it in order to continue our inner transformation towards self-evolution?
Your collaborator in positive and lasting change