Every Change Begins with AwarenessNov 08, 2023
As a life coach, my work is all about change. My clients come to me because they want to grow in some area of their personal or professional life, and growth is always, always rooted in change. Change is a fundamental part of any life worth living, and it can be exciting, challenging, and even scary, but one thing is certain: every change begins with awareness. Whether you're looking to improve your personal life, professional endeavors, or the world around you, the journey of change starts with being conscious of what needs to change.
This is why my approach to coaching always begins with cultivating awareness. As you become more aware, you can begin to clarify your intentions, getting very specific about where you want to be, and once you've clarified your intentions, you can begin to create an actual plan for how you're going to get there.
There are two things I come back to again and again with my clients to help them cultivate awareness as a starting point for identifying what changes they want to make. First, I ask questions to prompt some self-reflection. By examining your beliefs, values, strengths, and weaknesses, you can identify areas in your life that may benefit from change. This self-reflection can be uncomfortable at times, but it's a necessary process for personal development. Two very simple questions I come back to again and again are "What do you want?" and "Where do you want to be?" When you sit with these questions, I think you'll be surprised at how much more aware you'll become of what you actually want in life.
The second thing I do is aimed at identifying problems. In various aspects of life, awareness helps us identify problems that need solutions. Whether it's a toxic relationship, an unfulfilling job, wasted time, or a personal habit you'd like to change, recognizing the issue is the initial step toward finding a resolution. One exercise I do a lot with my clients is "More, Less, and Same." For this exercise, I have my clients fold a sheet of paper in thirds creating three columns. I have them write, "More," "Less," and "Same" across each column. Then, we do some reflection around the questions, "What do you want more of? What do you want less of? What do you want the same amount of?" This can include people, work commitments, personal projects, church activities, children's extracurriculars, volunteering, and even the kinds of work you're involved with. One client used this exercise recently to help her discover what pro bono work gave her joy and what pro bono work sucked the life out of her. Once she became more aware of that, she could clarify her intentions around what she wanted to give away joyfully and charge full-price for everything else!
In the grand scheme of life, change is inevitable. However, the direction and impact of that change can be influenced by the power of awareness. By becoming more aware of yourself, your surroundings, and the need for change, you can take the driver's seat on your journey of transformation. Remember that awareness is just the beginning—real change requires action and commitment. This is why the trajectory of coaching is always to create a plan! But before you can plan, you have to embrace the power of awareness and let it guide you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future filled with meaningful and positive changes.