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The magic ingredient to create change

The other week I sat across the table from a lady with quite a few major life changes on the horizon who sighed and said “I wish there was a magic pill to just make this all happen”. Oh would’t it be nice if there was!

People often ask me how I define a transition. I know this is a very personal thing, but I’ve worked with clients across a range of different transitions – divorce, relocation, career changes, becoming a parent and redundancy support to name a few. And all of these have something in common. Even if they are to some extent driven by external factors, the individual affected by the change has great opportunities to influence how the transition turns out

There is no magic pill to create big change, but there are some magic ingredients that can boost transformation when they are mixed just right.

I’ve always been fascinated by people who ‘take the leap’ and over the years I’ve taken a few of those big, scary steps myself. Other than regular reminders of why this change is important, there are a few things that seems to be vital ingredients in any good transition. 

  1. Energy flow: this is your driver and the fuel that will help you take the steps needed. Some people seem to be under the illusion that we can always have high levels of energy. To some extent this is true, but for most of us it’s a flow that sometimes comes with high tide and low tide. make sure that you manage quite carefully what you do and what you don’t spend time and energy on when you’re heading into times of change. Some people, activities and places will help you have more high tide which will help keep you strong, focused and happy. Choose them wisely!
  2. Accountability: as passionate as you probably are (most of the time) about moving forward, the best way to manage the days when you just want to give up is to have an accountability buddy/team in place from the start. It does not matter if this is friends, family, a coach or someone else, but it’s a vital ingredient to create change. Their role is to check in with you that you are doing what you promised yourself that you would do and that you’re choosing carefully where you spend your energy, money and time to support your transition. 
  3. Real care: it might sound a bit obvious, but YOU need to really care about the new thing you’re gearing up for. You probably believe that you can do it (I know you can do it if you just set your mind to it!) and it’s even easier if someone else also cares and believes in you. The important distinction here is that your accountability is there to make sure that you do it whereas the care team is there to help you believe that you can do it. You can choose the same people on your accountability team and your care team, but sometimes it’s useful if they are a little bit separate.

Different parts of transition periods will require different focus and it’s good to know that up front. Most people can manage their own transition alone if they have to, but I know from the many hours I’ve coached people on this topic that it gets a lot easier with some help around the 3 points above. 

What’s the last life transition you went through? Did you have all 3 points covered?