I get to be on the front line with people that want to see changes happen in their relationships and in themselves. So often at the very beginning of the change process the first barrier that slows down the desired changes is the “as soon as… speed bump. Whenever you say “as soon as …fill in the blank…I will change you know that you aren’t really ready to change. As soon as my wife stops yelling at me i’ll quit drinking. As soon as I get a raise in pay I’ll start saving money. As soon as, as soon as, as soon as. When a person bargains with change by creating reasons to not change the person is really saying “I don’t want to change”.
Many individuals and couples show up with the idea that change depends on an external event or another person changing first. I can guarantee 6his approach will not generate change. The first steps in your or anyone’s success in creating a better life is being completely accountable & owning 100 % of your role in the issue. This requires humility and setting aside the ego. If individuals, couples, even families can resist the urge to see everyone else’s problem and seek their own mischief incredible change and healthy control can begin to happen. It is amazing to see this process work. Individuals honoring the principles of ownership and accountability will find truth and see pathways open up for growth & major successes.
In a study by William Miller it was found that there are six stages to the change process. Understanding these stages can help all of us determine where we are in our quest for growth to the next level. Honest evaluation of ourself & seeking to understand feedback from trusted loved ones is really mandatory if you are to be in control of your destiny.
I challenge you to relax, read over & consider the following 5 stages of change and decide what stage of change you are in in any given subject such as creating a peaceful marriage, enjoying more intimacy, getting ahead in your career, generating a more secure income. This can be exciting and enlightening in your quest for a life in harmony with peace and joy.
- Stage 1: this is named the Pre-contemplation Stage.
- In this stage, you may be experiencing negative issues however, you do not perceive these issues as serious enough to motivate changing behavior. This is when you may be saying “as soon as she is nice to me I will come home from work on time and be mire flirtatious.” If you are waiting for an event or another person to change first you are in pre-contemplation of change.
- Stage 2: Next is the Contemplation Stage.
- In this stage you realize that your behavior is problematic. You may be ambivalent about change, but believe you need to change something. You can argue both sides of change. If yo catch yourself saying I know I need to exercise, and you also say I really do not have the extra time to exercise, you are ambivalent about change.
- Stage 3: Is the Preparation Stage
- In this stage you have made a commitment to change and accepted responsibility for doing so. You know you are accountable for the change you desire, but you have not developed a plan. The plan must include a reason why you want to change and the tools necessary for change.
- Stage 4: In the Action Stage
- You are actively involved in changing your behavior. This is the exciting and empowering stage of change. You are in control of your destiny. In relationships many couples have found that as they both enter this stage the mood and joy in their marriage is magical.
- Stage 5: The Maintenance Stage.
- In this final stage you have developed a new pathway of thinking & seeing yourself and your relationship. You may still be ironing out wrinkles, but you see the results of the changes you have created. In this stage you can see how change and growth requires humility and accountability. You also have the exhilarating experience of seeing the next change you want in order to continue growing.
I believe that we all go through these stages at some conscious level. By recognizing what state you are really in and being accountable for the pathway through this stage you can own your destiny , lower anxiety, and be more effective. Take a deep dive into these stages with some excitement knowing that your pathway to joy, peace, and self control is right in front of you!