Chchchch...changes...    (cue David Bowie!)

On any given day, week, month or year, changes can astound, overwhelm, and/or, surprise us.  Some change is welcome and some is not.

I hear a lot of people say they don’t like change.  I am hearing their remarks as referring to those changes that upset their routines or thinking. 

I have encountered a number of changes in my life.  I transitioned from my full-time job in order to pursue my dream job of coaching and consulting full time; I’ve moved and lived in about 15 different places in my life; and more recently my front porch fell apart.  With each decision, address change, and removal of a piece of something, other aspect of a new reality needed to be addressed or repaired.  Things are not always as they appear to be and yet we can either plow through or fly free to get where we want to be.

This leads me to the changes that upset our thinking.  We are so closely aligned and committed to our way of thinking that we can hold on for dear life just so we don’t have to think differently about a person or situation.  We like our opinions.  We like how our perception orders our world and our place in it.  It is what we do with new information that can either lead us to new insights or root us deeper in our place.  Each has value.  The challenge is learning to know which to apply and when. 

Back to the porch…Once it was revealed that the sheathing behind the siding was damaged from a water leak I had two choices; 1) was to remove the siding, replace the sheathing (and subsequent insulation) and put it all back together again with all new materials or 2) do nothing knowing that the sheathing was damaged, but not structurally impaired and just cover it up again and make it look nice.  In case you are wondering, I chose the first option!

Changes take us to a decision point.

·         We recognize that things can’t go on like they were before and we have to take steps to move to the next phase of our life or career or,

·         We can become frozen in place.  And well, you know the saying, “Not to decide is to decide.”  We think if we take no action or deny that an action needs to be taken we can bide our time in making a decision.  

Whether you move forward in a conscious way or stand still and do nothing, remember, future changes are already taking shape for another day. 

Tune in to the next show that I am hosting on the Life Coach Chat Channel on Wednesday, August 13th at 1:00 PM titled: Do I or Don’t I: Taking that Leap of Faith Into Something New.

Barbara Hetzel is the Founder of Ridge Top Coaching, a life and leadership-coaching firm that engages leaders and teams in developing and expanding their gifts and talents for the world.  As an accomplished professional in the field of training and organizational development, she has over 25 years of experience helping others discover and embrace their true calling.

It Takes Guts! To Find The Courage To Change

It’s the start of a new year and we are already through a good portion of the month. The new year is an awesome time of year for most. Ushering in a new year offers you a fresh start, a new beginning, and depending on your mindset, an opportunity to start with a clean slate. In my opinion, the new year is liberating. On the other hand, it can also be quite overwhelming, if you don’t know where to start. How many times have you seen or heard the slogan, “A New Year, A New You”? Hey, I’ve even used that slogan when setting my own personal goals. I vowed that this is the year! This year, I’m going to get in the best shape of my life, this is the year that I’m going to do that triathlon, run that full marathon. The one thing that I hadn’t considered is besides those visits to the beach, jumping waves with my niece and the dips in the baby pool with my daughter, I haven’t swam in years. Something like 25 years. I’m not even sure that I remember how to do it. Fear set in. And with that reminder, I realized that this one is going to take a bit more than resolve. This goal of mine is going to force me to use the C word. No, not cancel. Courage. A lot of courage.

So how is that New Years Resolution going for you? I’d be willing guess that, like me, it’s the same resolution from last year, and the year before, and maybe even the year before. Most of us go into the new year with grandiose resolutions to do this, and overcome that, and finally complete the third, with no real idea of how to actually get it done. We start off on the right foot, but by the 18th or so we feel like we blew it. So it’s scrapped until next year. Here’s one to consider: every day, hour, second is an opportunity to do it different. Different than the day before. That said, courage is the main ingredient or key virtue needed to persevere. Courage is the characteristic that makes all the other virtues possible.

Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables you to face difficulty, danger, pain, embarrassment, failure, change without fear. A new you for the new year is a great feat that cannot be achieved by responding to situations with old thoughts and behaviors. It’s time to shake those old patterns, behaviors, and stop being led by fear. Living without fear is about finding the courage to take risks, to change, and to keep going even when you fall off or fumble.

Whether you are struggling to adopt a healthy lifestyle, contemplating a career change, or worrying about ending a bad relationship, a new you will require you to embrace a new way of being. It’s not about winning, losing, or failing. It’s about having the courage to try something new. The real goal is to master your fear with courage which enables you to move toward your true self. Usually what keeps up stuck is fear of the outcome, however, a healthy mindset helps us become less attached to outcome and up for the challenge.  In 2014, build your courage muscles by using fear as your ally and expand your comfort zone, so you can make the life changes that really matter.

Whatever path you choose or goal that you are pursuing, experiencing a fulfilling life does not depend on what you do but on how you approach what you do.