I have the pleasure of talking to many people from all kinds of stages in their lives. As a change coach I am often surrounded by people that want to change something in their lives, but often do not know what. It’s this restless feeling that something needs to be different – a yearning for more. A lot of people have a hard time putting their finger on it, and that’s when they come to me.
Generally there are two directions people go in, which I call either “Big Bubble” or “Other Bubble”.
Big Bubble people say something very big and vague. Something like “I want to live more” or “I want to be happier”. They think they know what it is and it is everything they need to change. They just don’t know where to start, they don’t know how to change everything at once. Believe it or not, no one wants to change everything. They might not know, but its usually something more substantial inside, a trauma or bad experiences that linger around which need to be tackled. Thing with negative experiences or feelings, if we haven’t dealt with them properly when they occurred, they will sit around like a rotten piece of fruit that one day rolled under the fridge. They will get worse and worse till they start to smell and become a problem by attracting insects. Big bubble people need to address the rotten fruit. It’s usually when something is wrong inside, that we tend to focus more on the outside.
Other Bubble people look at other people. Meaning they either know what they want to change, but don’t want to change it or they are scared to change it. They look to see what have other people done or what are other people doing and they change in the direction the people around them are changing. In an attempt to avoid dealing what’s in front of them, they look left and right instead of tackling the issue head on. It’s easier to see how other people have succeeded than to follow than to deal with the uncomfortable truth in front of you. By coping other people, they feel they are guaranteed success. If it worked for someone else, why wouldn’t it work for me?
In both cases, people are avoiding what needs to be confronted. The thing is, we know more than we think. We claim we don’t know what to change or how to change, but the matter of the fact is that we are scared of the work that lies behind it. We avoid it by creating distracting bubbles. A coaches first job is to force you to look where you don’t want to. The thing is, you don’t go looking for a change coach if you don’t actually want to change. And you don’t go reading an article by one if you don’t want the uncomfortable truth. You took the first brave step. And I am sure that courage will get you to the next one, to see what you need to change straight in the eye.