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spike bullet March 2009 - The Seven Steps to Change

The Seven Steps to Change
The Process of Change 
How we can help others cope 
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)

color bulletThe Seven Steps to Change

The news is bad, the economy is bad, everyone has a story about someone being laid off.  Maybe you've been laid off.  Maybe your company or your division or your government agency is struggling.  "Life is tough, and then you die" seems to be the real truth right now.  

We choose to see the world differently.  

As we said last month,  "diamonds are created under great pressure."  Our current times offer the greatest opportunity for creating positive changes that we have seen for many years.  

If we want to change and it seems that the majority of people in the US voted for change in our recent presidential elections what is the process?  How does it work?  That is the subject of this article.  

The 7 Steps of Change

Step 1:  Being in a fixed position is no longer appropriate for the new changes.

We are "stuck" in habit or denial.  Does this sound familiar?  This is where the pressure is building but we don't yet realize that *we* have to change.  We may complain and whine and moan and groan about how tough life is or about the many problems that we face.  

We might notice that some of the CEOs that have recently visited Congress seem to be stuck at this level - denying that the industry needs to change - refusing to see that their business model no longer fits the needs of our country.    

We might notice businesses or governments that have kept doing the same things, not realizing that their customers are changing and wanting different products or services.  

We might notice members of our family or even ourselves not wanting to change or not realizing that we need to change. 

Step 2: Noticing the need for change and desiring change.

At this step, we might have finally begun to realize that we need to change.  We might want to change, but may be afraid, insecure or confused.

We are not sure what to do .  This is the creative stage, where anything is possible.  If we ask for help, we can uncover a great many things that might be possible.  

Step 3: Forming a plan for change and starting to move forward.

This may be a surface or behavior change.  Internal beliefs/motives haven’t changed yet.  There is one foot in the old way and one foot in the new way.  

We are starting to think about how we can make changes to deal with whatever is happening in our life.  

Step 4: Internal attitudes begin to change.

We experience an internal revolution.  On the outside, people may seem confused or static ("cocoon" stage).  

This can be a long period.  The U.S. has been in step 3 and 4 for many years.  

Step 5: Breakthrough.  Quantum leap.  Expansion.

This period is very unstable.  Change is happening everywhere at once.  

Sometimes at this stage, people want to shut down and go back to where they were.  To really make the change, it is important to keep moving forward and not slide back.

Step 6: Rewards of change: thrill, excitement, want to "preach" to others.

The changes are not yet stable. We may feel very inspired with too much enthusiasm.  We may try to go too fast before the changes have stabilized.  

Step 7: Being flexible and having new attitudes and beliefs.

This is where we are "going with the flow" and getting to a new level of attachment about the changes.  

We don't want to get stuck in the same change again and we have full integration of the changes of the changes we have made. 

The Process of Change

As we change, it creates pressure on others in our life.  They may be terrified by our movement.  We are no longer the stable influence in their life. 

It is challenging and risk-taking to deal with changes in our relationships.  People will either go along with the changes or they will move out of our life.  New people will come in. 

Some people are invested in us being who we were - the whole environment must change. 

Changes are most threatening to those in "solid" roles/casting (especially Warriors, Kings, some Scholars) [See our Personality Game for information about the personality Roles.]  They see our changes as disloyal to them and are the most upset.  The more "stuck" they are, the more they’ll try to resist our changes.  

People may throw high energy at us.  Our closest relationship may flare up unexpectedly.

What we can do to help others cope: 

  1. Identify the people that our own changes may affect.
  2. Acknowledge our role in their life.  Talk to each person (in person or in meditation).  Tell them that they are stilled loved and the changes are not threatening to them.
  3. Energy goes where our attention goes.  They will get it on an essence level (which is a stronger influence than on the personality level).
  4. Know that we are not alone.  Changes are never isolated - we are each connected to many others.  We have lots of support during this time period to make the changes that we need to make.  We can call on our friends to assist us.  
  5. When we notice our friends are struggling, we can provide moral or emotional support to what they are going through.
  6. We can help them and ourselves by understanding the 7 steps of change and not expecting them to be farther along than they are.
  7. We can be compassionate.  We can be patient with others.  I f we are farther along than someone else, we can go forward with our own plans, knowing that they will catch up with us eventually.  
Change is either there or not there.  It happens quickly.  Processing takes time to develop and grow, but doesn’t take effort.   Our belief system is what keeps us stuck.  For example: The economy could change overnight, if people believed it can change.

We must:

  1. Be willing for surprises to happen.
  2. Be willing for things to be different.
  3. Be willing to have/accept our dreams.
  4. Be willing to be worthy of what we want.

If 7% of the country is unemployed, what does that mean?  Do the math  -- that means that 93% of the country is employed.  Our belief system guides us at every moment.  We can choose to focus on the bad news or we can choose to focus on the  good news and make the changes we want to make.  

Source: This article is based on a workshop we took with The PowerPath Seminars in November 1992, which was the last time we had a recession as deep and long as we are experiencing in early 2009.  The information is as relevant now as it was then.  And, the economy did turn around and we experienced a very high level of prosperity for a number of years.  Based on what we know today, we expect our economy to prosper again, though we will have to make some fundamental changes in our societal structures to make it complete and get through all the 7 steps.  

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
    March 1996 Laws of Life 
    August, 1996 -- Managing Change
    May 1997 -- Coping with Change
    October 1998 - Leading Change
    October 2005 - One Thing: Great Management and Leadership
    April 2002 - Silicon Valley Management Style
    April 2003 - Management / Leadership Styles (updated) - Continued
    June 2001 - Successful Project Management
    November 2006 - Project Management - Early Warning Signs
    December 2000 - Sponsoring Successful Projects

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

  • We need to let the old go, so the new can emerge. — the late Rev. Peggy Bassett, Huntington Beach, CA
  • When faced with an unsolvable problem, change the question.  —  Barbara Taylor (1996)

    Come to the edge, she said.
               No, we will fall.

    Come to the edge, she said.
            No, we will fall,

    They came to the edge;
  She pushed them,
              and they flew. 

                            ..  Guillaume Apollinaire

Taylor's Laws

  1. Reality is a state of mind
  2. People will not admit a problem exists until they perceive there is a solution.
  3. When faced with an unsolvable problem, change the question.
  4. There are at least 50 different ways of looking at any situation.  Try to find them.
  5. When searching for answers, ask, "What is most obvious?"
  6. There is always an "x" factor at work in any problem, situation or equation.  The "x" factor may be large or small, but it is always there.  Usually, the "x" factor and/or its significance is not recognized until long after the fact.
  7. When traveling the Road of Life, never forget: There are critical road signs missing. Be prepared to change direction and stumble around occasionally.

    (Author: Barbara Taylor)

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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