Managing Change

A theme that arises constantly in my talks is about Managing Change.

Change can be difficult or easy depending on how you approach it and in this article I want to focus on two areas one needs to concentrate on in order to make sure change is permanent and long lasting.

Firstly, have patience with the process of change and with those around you. It is easy when setting out to change to be over enthusiastic and want change to happen instantly. Invariably there is failure going down this route, for as soon as we start rocking the boat to much the subconscious mind will sabotage any efforts which threaten our safety. Remember its primary purpose is to keep us safe so anything going against that is rejected.


A better strategy is to change incrementally. The Japanese management theory of Kaizen, (meaning continuous change) advises us to make small almost minute changes but consistently. This has the effect of tricking the subconscious mind as well as making it easier to accept new programming. It also is in alignment with habit creation. As the saying goes,

“Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going”

By taking an incremental but continuous movement to change we also encourage longer term thinking and again patience in the whole process.

Another aspect of patience is patience with those around us. In growing, you do challenge those around you whether you are aware of it or not. This can lead to friendships ending and conflict as your very changing upsets the current paradigm. Be aware of this and exercise more compassion and more care for those around you. It can be frightening watching a partner change and this can lead to conflict which has in many cases stopped growth in people as they feel they don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices involved with change as short term turbulence has convinced them to abandon the long term benefits of change. Instead focus on what brings you together and grow together.

Secondly, cultivate an awareness of yourself and your environment. Realise what change is doing to you and again realise when you need to stop and rest. Sometimes taking a ‘gung ho’ attitude and going in all guns blazing really doesn’t serve us and is in fact a subtle self sabotage. Instead focus on how you feel and the sensations you may feel in your body or the thoughts or emotions that may be arising. This will also show you that your limits as to what you are, aren’t real and provide encouragement that you do have the necessary strength to keep changing.

Develop also an awareness of those around you. Your growing and changing will trigger those around you, be aware of that and don’t take any comments or attacks that come your way personally. Your growth will impact those around you, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively, become aware of this and stay the course. If you ride this phase out you may find others adjust to you and help you grow further. To quote Gandhi

“First they ignore you
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win”

So just a few pointers to help you manage growth. Try them as and how they feel right for you and as you change you may find you see more and more who you truly are.