Today I celebrate my 49th birthday. Wow, where has time gone? Am I really this old? I still feel like a kid, at least in spirit. Anniversaries of birth, especially as they rise in number, seem to automatically stimulate us to assess where we are and where we're going. So, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about making changes.
As facilitators and group leaders, we're often engaged in helping our clients make some
kind of change. Whether we're talking about a major system change
or simply a change in a single person's life, the challenges showing
up in the face of change are similar if not the same.
I wrote the Ten
Steps to Facilitating Major Life Changes a few years ago after making a couple very
large changes in my own life.
Review this to support you in your own life changes and use it as a handout for your clients who may be stuck or hesitant, but serious about
making a change in either their professional or personal lives.
I look forward to hearing how this works for you and your groups.
Recording of expert Interview with Dr. Dick Thompson is available. Click here to access my August 16th interview with Dr. Dick Thompson when we talked about the important of emotional intelligence , how you can use it as a facilitator, and how you can become a certified EI practitioner.
The Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Workshop. FacilitatorU in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin, is offering the "Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration," a live training workshop based on 20 archetypes of the Integral Facilitator in late October. You'll have the opportunity to practice the competencies of self-facilitation, social awareness, and group process required before, during, and after group facilitation events. Please see full details at the end of this issue.
Birthday Special on Article Submitter Software. Scroll down for details.
Have a great week!
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com
the price of maintaining the status quo. Not making a change
you know you need to make is costing you. Do some soul searching, consult
with trusted allies, or journal to yourself to uncover the payoffs you're
receiving and the prices you’re paying for maintaining the status quo. If
the the price seems greater than the payoff, you'll be clearer about
2. Create a reserve of everything. We don’t have to make
a difficult change from where we are now. If we have issues with money,
time, space, emotional support, skills, etc., make a plan now to have
more than you need in these areas, creating a stronger foundation from
which to launch in your new direction. Keep in mind that it's better to
be over prepared and arrive at your destination than to fail because you
were just a hair short of having what you needed to get there.
3. Forgive self-judgments. Guilt is rampant in our culture.
So is the vendetta against selfishness. Suffering is supported and nurtured
by friends, family, religions, etc. So it's not surprising that many of
us, deep down, don't feel we deserve to have what we want. So it's critical
to dig down and uncover any judgments you hold against yourself and let
them go. For example, you may feel that you're not good enough or deserving
of the life you really want. Or you may feel that the change you're about
to make will hurt someone close and that you'll be responsible for their
pain. Or you may feel that you're not smart enough, resourceful enough,
bold enough, or just plain "enough" to make this change. Acknowledge
these judgments then forgive yourself for holding these false perceptions
about who you really are. Because the truth is, they are only ideas and
you will create yourself each moment based on the new idea you hold about
who you are.
4. Stop complaining. Are you complaining about being
in the situation you're in? Are you blaming others for this scenario?
Or have you accepted full responsibility for your situation and just beat
yourself up for not making a change? If any of the above are true, you
are playing the victim and you’ve been forfeiting your power to make the
change you say you want. Even if you're blaming yourself for not being
happy or for having the courage to make the change, then part of you is
beating up on another part of yourself, hence there's a victim in there
somewhere. To the degree you play the role of victim, you lose power you
could be using to move forward. So get behind yourself completely and
own your full power to create the life you desire, no matter what.
up analysis that breeds paralysis. We are so conditioned to figure
things out before we leap, that sometimes we become paralyzed to take
the actions our bodies are directed to take from the beginning. This is
particularly true if you’re an engineer, scientist, or other type of technical
person who experiences the world more through analysis than through feeling.
If you’re stuck in a thinking pattern rehashing the same ideas over and
over, trying to figure out what will happen if, then you're stuck in a
mind-loop. It's time to quit thinking and start doing. Feel in your body
what action to take, and then do it! The information you're seeking may
only be made available after you take action anyway. Wisdom often comes
from experience, not from analysis.
6. Develop a compelling vision. Leaving a longstanding
relationship or a long time career can be very frightening. This is because
if what we have is all we see, then to give it up means we’ll have nothing
left. This is a terrible illusion. Life always rushes in to fill space
in our lives with new opportunities, relationships, resources, connection,
ideas, etc. First however, we must make the space for something new. Second
create a clear vision of what your life will look like once your change
is complete. The vision of your new future eliminates the fear of the
unknown—which can keep you stuck for a long time! Make up your vision
if it isn't coming to you naturally, but make it good. Your vision will
form the matrix on which you will create your new life and give you the
inspiration and courage you need to move on.
7. Risk failure. Does your fear of failing keep you
stuck? If so, define what failure looks like to you. Imagine the worst
possible thing happening. Can you live with that? Can you make course
corrections before it happens or after it happens? The answer is almost
always "yes." I suggest removing the word "failure"
from your vocabulary. Instead, realize that each of your actions will
simply yield a result. This result will be one you want or one you don't
want. Simply take the result as feedback from the universe and take the
next logical step. Viewed from this perspective, mistakes are merely indications
that a course correction is needed and not to be taken personally. Pilots
are checking their compass all the time and making course corrections
based on this feedback. They'd never get anywhere if they took every off-course
reading as a personal failure. Give up the concept of failure and take
8. Access your inner warrior. Within each of us there
is an instinctual aspect built for bold, decisive action. It looks out,
not only for our survival, but also for our soul's mission. It sends messages
all the time in the form of feelings in your body. They may come in the
form of "gut" feelings in certain situations, or they may be
just a sense of direct "knowing" that has no rational foundation.
If you are contemplating a difficult change, and have "contemplated"
yourself into a corner, it may be time to let your inner warrior take
over for a while. Just act “as if” you "know" what to do, then
do it without thinking anymore about it until after it's done.
9. Get support to help you through the change. Big life
changes can be overwhelming to accomplish on your own. There’s no shame
in asking for help from your friends, relatives, or from a coach. In fact,
enough of the right kind of support can make a seemingly difficult change,
relatively easy. For me, being a former lone-ranger, asking for and accepting
help from others was difficult at first, but really nice once I got used
to it. Now I wouldn't think of starting a major project or making a big
change without relying on my support system of close and loving friends,
and my coach. Do whatever is necessary to make change easy on yourself.
You're worth it!
10. Don't go to your deathbed wondering what would have happened
if... It's easy for us to forget how short our lives really are.
Many of us live as if we'll never die. We waste away our hours and days
working jobs we hate, living just for the weekends, or "putting in
time" until retirement, living most of our lives like zombies. We
may live in a relationship that is draining and disempowering thinking
it might magically get better somehow, someday. We deny our feelings or
make excuses for frittering our lives away. This is insane. Stop it now!
Our lives are so precious and so short. I challenge you to project yourself
forward to your death. It's real and it's coming for you! See yourself
on your deathbed and ask yourself if the life you're living now is all
you dreamt it to be. Write your own obituary today. How close are you
to living your passion? Let this vision be a motivator to get off your
butt and follow your dreams!