In my last post, I wrote about motivations for change. In this post, I’m writing about choosing the speed of change.
From what I’ve seen in my coaching clients, people typically fall into one of two “comfort with change” camps:
Those who are invigorated by cut-all-ties, jump-off-the-cliff, run-away-with-the-circus, immediate and wholesale change.
Idea + Immediate Action = New Me!
Those who prefer incremental, slow-but-steady, baby-steps, cumulative change over weeks, months or years.
Idea + Plan + Implement Small Actions in Sequence + Evaluate + Adjust the Plan + Repeat = New Me!
The thought of walking into work one day and quitting spontaneously is terrifying for one person, and exhilarating for another. Similarly, the thought of losing 20 pounds of bodyweight at a rate of two pounds per week over three months is excruciating to some people, and perfectly reasonable and/or motivating to others.
Neither way is wrong or right, or risk-free. Both offer incredible opportunities to know yourself more deeply and make resonant choices in your life.
Let’s explore, and see where you feel more comfortable:
Leap of faith transformation
What it can look like:
Quitting your job without having a next source of income or a plan B
Selling everything you own and moving to a new community you’ve never been to before
Changing your appearance by shaving off all your hair or dying it a wild colour
It will shake up your life and provide an opportunity to see what you’re really made of! What is the experience like for you? What reactions does it solicit? How do you respond to the reactions? What does that open up for you?
Similar to pulling off a bandage in one swift rip, a leap of faith can minimize the pain (sometimes) and propel you into a new way of being very quickly.
It gets you out of your rational mind (which will come up with 50 reasons NOT to do the thing if you let it) and into your heart and body, which can choose more spontaneous and less thought-through options.
A leap of faith can be a great jumpstart as a smaller challenge within a larger change, such as performing at an open mic night and evaluating that experience, instead of quitting your day job first and starting your rock star career the next day.
Buyer’s remorse (Think: Oh shit! What have I done?!) may creep in later.
Sometimes: Danger!! May create financial, emotional and/or physical risk, depending on the leap you take. Again, you may find a high-risk activity exhilarating, while others may not. Not wrong or right; just something to be aware of.
When it’s great to jump into the wild unknown:
You feel stuck/bored/in a rut.
You know you might noodle over a choice for days, months, YEARS and never take action on it…and then regret it a year, a decade, a lifetime from now.
You have a high tolerance for risk and living in the unknown.
You fly by the seat of your pants and like to figure things out as you go along.
What it can look like:
Starting a side hustle while maintaining your current job until you’ve built up enough clientele/income to transition to the hustle full-time.
Booking several vacations to a new community over a year or two to see how you feel about moving there…someday.
Getting an extra half-inch trimmed off each time you get your hair cut, until after 10 visits to the stylist, you’re sporting a short ‘do.
A slower pace allows you to adapt and evaluate along the way, and change course as you learn about what’s working and what’s not working for you. It becomes about the journey and not the destination.
Your life won’t be disrupted in a major way.
You may be able to keep your change process on the down-low and then do a big reveal once progress is made.
You may be frustrated with the amount of time it takes to see substantial progress.
It can be very easy to revert to your “old way” of doing or being, since the change you are making is relatively small. The distance between old you and new you isn’t very far.
When it’s great to go slow and steady:
You feel like you have a lot of people depending on you, and you want to be considerate of the impact of your actions and choices on them. (NOTE: This is a fabulous excuse to NOT change! Don’t succumb to it! Plan, get buy-in and live according to your own heart!)
You have a low tolerance for risk.
You’ve learned that change can be difficult and scary, in your experience, and you like being comfortable.
So which feels more like you? Where has that approach gotten you in your life? Where has it prevented you from getting where you want to be?
Again, neither is right or wrong…one might be right for a certain change in your life, and the other might be right for a different change. I encourage you to look at what your usual approach might be, and ask yourself why.
What change do you want in your life that you might try a different approach, just to see what it’s like? What scares you about that? What excites you?
What’s possible if you change quickly or more slowly than you might normally?
I’d love to know! Comment below, share on my Facebook page or send me note!
Want some help to change something in YOUR life? Contact me to learn how!