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How To Make That Change

Have you got a change to make? Some people embrace the ‘September is the new January’ approach with promises to get fit, take up a hobby, get that promotion, or a career change.

But even after any ‘back to school’ relief, let’s face it change is hard! We make excuses, we don’t have the time, or the will or the courage to make it happen – why?

‘Here’s the neuroscience bit*’… In simple terms our brains are prone to react negatively to change. Research suggests it’s to do with human evolution when our ancestors depended on ‘social belonging’ for survival just as much as they did on food and shelter for physical survival. So, any changes to our social environment can threaten the brain’s sense of stability and it reacts by resisting or avoiding the change as much as possible*

Then overlay on top of this the sense of anxiety that is pervading our society at the moment. Dr Amy Cuddy and JillEllyn Riley wrote for the Washington Post on ‘why this stage of the pandemic makes us so anxious’ referencing “pandemic flux syndrome” – naming the current feeling of anxiety and worry blended with an urge to dramatically change something. Dr Amy Cuddy talks about this with Brené Brown here, worth a listen.

Many of our clients are experience this at the moment and thought I’d share my top five ‘change making tips’ for starters:

  1. Be kind to yourself: Don’t over commit. Scrap your huge to-do list of things you want to achieve and focus on just the one. Only one! Knowing the one change that you really want to make, and why you want it, will keep you focussed and committed.
  2. Reflect: Get it on paper, make it real. Write it down or draw it out and the date you want to make it by and stick it somewhere you can see it every day to remind yourself! Naming and writing how you are feeling can also help as a starting point.
  3. Break it down into bite-size chunks. If you’re planning a career change for example it can feel like a huge daunting process. It’s overwhelming. Focus on just one task at a time, small manageable chunks to move you forward, it’ll feel so much easier. Working with a career coach can absolutely help you with this. Guidance on how to choose a coach here
  4. Make believe it until you achieve it.  Enjoy dreaming what that change looks like, and feels like. Visualisation is a very powerful tool. Some changes may give you that ‘knot in your stomach’ feeling (like asking for a promotion or pay rise) but they’re often the ones that bring us the biggest reward.
  5. Find someone to hold you to account. All of this is much more achievable if you’ve got someone who knows exactly what you want and can support you to make it happen. Whether it’s a friend, colleague, coach or mentor…find someone you trust who has your back and will support and challenge you to meet your goal.

Feel free to get in touch about the changes you want to make at 

*source ‘what neuroscience teaches us about change management’