How to approach change from the inside out

November 8, 2015

I've said many times that one of my favorite phrases and guiding principles is Awareness Precedes Choice, and Choice Precedes Change.  I need to alter it, though, as through my training as a life coach, I've learned that there's another step in there, a really important step, that makes all the difference in how we stay motivated to do the daily work of making change in our lives.  


And that is to feel.


You can make a beautiful, stepped out plan to approach a change you want to make, and yet a few weeks down the road, you realize you've lost your motivation and enthusiasm, it becomes harder to follow through, and easier to give up if you can't really see your progress or it seems too overwhelming and will take too long (and all the other things our whiny lizard brains and egos try to trip us up with, as you're probably going to fail at it again anyway, they will try to say).  


Back to the feeling.  


Instead of plotting tasks into a to-do list or a planner, find a quiet spot where you will not be interrupted for about 15 minutes, and get comfortable.  If possible, close your eyes, and take three really deep breaths, paying attention to the sensations in your lungs, ribs, belly, and nose with each inhale and exhale.  Tune out the room, and as much as you can, tune out the thoughts swirling around your head about what you need to do later.  


Now, think of what you want to change, and picture in your mind what it will look like when you've achieved that change.  How will you be different, what actions can you see yourself doing that are in support of this being a permanent change, see yourself interacting with your daily life with this change in place, completely envision what it looks like to be in this changed state - and then let yourself feel completely, with all your senses, what it's like to be living that change moment by moment.  


What are you saying, how are you moving, what colors and smells and sounds are around you in this new way of being?  Feel every aspect and texture and action of being and living this new part of your existence that you've so desired and now cherish, because it has come to be. 


Spend several minutes experiencing yourself at work, at home, with friends, with relatives, at the movies, on a bike ride, whatever it may be, behaving, speaking, taking action, living and feeling with all parts of you this wonderful thing you have wanted for so long.  Really let this envelope you, and store these feelings at the front of your mind to access them daily as you look at your schedule and tasks.  Reminding ourselves of how great it will feel to make the change, and putting ourself in that feeling state on a regular basis is key to realizing goals and dreams.  


Write down the adjectives that fully describe your feelings, and place them where you can see them every day; make multiples for your purse/bag, calendar, fridge, mirror, wallet to further reinforce and keep those feelings front and center in your life.


Athletes, performers, successful people in all areas of life have employed visualization techniques like this to achieve their goals.  Our amazing brains love and understand visual images more than anything.  A vision board that reflects the feeling states of our goals and changes we desire is also a powerful tool to utilize along with the daily practice of going into the feeling state.   


Feeling states guide us to our goals for change far more effectively than checking off items on a task list day in and out; utilizing the two together can be magical in achieving the change more quickly than you could have projected.  


I've told clients, and you've likely heard, "Act as if" when you're working at change and not feeling super confident about it.  "Feel as if" needs to join that, and the two together are a powerful pair to guide your choices for change.  




I love and am trained in leading guided visualizations.  If you'd like to experience me guiding you through one to get to your feeling state for your goals and changes, you are welcome to sign up for a free 30 minute session.


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