A Helpful Model of Positive Change

Every year in January and February, houses and offices reverberate to the sound of positive intentions: weight loss, wellbeing/exercise, hobbies and career change. Maybe you are having one of these conversations right now? While the first two months of the year have gained a reputation for being somewhat depressing, at Conversations With Impact, unsurprisingly, I take a different view. For me, the New Year is a catalyst for change – and this can only be a good thing. For underneath the humour of the New Years’ Resolution can lie unhappy or unfulfilling lives that those Resolutions seeks to remedy.

The mystery of change

However, as we know, wanting to change is only half the picture: we have to understand how to change. Successful change requires what I call ‘a helpful model of positive change’, and in my experience working with clients who struggle to change, this is where they fall down. Instead of looking to their approach, they remain in a state of mystery why their goals remain on the drawing board. Cue much futile experimentation, followed by self-blame and finally resignation.

An unhelpful model of change

An unhelpful model of change is characterised by problematic ways of thinking, behaving, feeling and relating (people, objects/things or places), which hinder attempts to achieve important goals. The easiest way to discover if you have an unhelpful model of change is if your goals are – still on the drawing board. If they are, then it will be important to know why. So, what does an unhelpful model of change look like or consist of? Below are some common characteristics of unhelpful models of change. See if you recognise any from the list:

  • Impatience and the need for a ‘quick fix’
  • Unrealistic goals and expectations
  • Low self-esteem/self-worth
  • Perfectionism, self-sabotage & self-criticism
  • A lack of knowledge, information and resources
  • Erroneous ideas
  • A lack of self-belief
  • Poor motivation
  • The right goal, but the wrong strategy
  • Not enough support or the wrong type of support
  • Difficult emotions such as fear, anxiety or depression

The chances are that you will have recognised something on the list.

A helpful model of positive change and how to get one

If there is one good thing about an unhelpful change model, it contains the blueprint for a helpful one. For example, looking at the above list, we can say that a helpful model will include the following:

  • Acceptance of one’s current reality and a commitment to doing what it takes
  • Time and patience
  • Positivity – towards oneself and from others
  • Self-belief and trust in one’s abilities
  • Turning setbacks into opportunities
  • Valuable ideas, sound knowledge & effective resources
  • Skills – practice and repetition
  • Alignment of realistic goals with effective strategies
  • The right type of support and encouragement
  • Positive emotions that help rather than hinder
  • A resilient mindset

Appreciating the value contained in an unhelpful model of change can be the start of something positive, even if seeing it requires honesty and acceptance. I know positive change isn’t easy, but time and again, I have seen people achieve it when they arrange the above into their own helpful model of positive change.

Putting it to the test

Regardless of whether your helpful model of positive change results from a solo or joint effort, the critical consideration then is – does it work? So, don’t be afraid to put it to the test. If it doesn’t work straight away, then remember: it’s not because you can’t change, it is because you haven’t discovered how to – yet. Adding a ‘Yet’ sends the message that it is a matter of ‘when-not-if’ change happens for you. ‘When-not-if’ is a statement of intent and the language of certainty. And because it assumes change will happen, the principle initiates the very process of trial and error (detective work) that brings the change about.

Getting support to change

An unhelpful model of change can be easy to identify, but difficult to explain or replace. However, once someone knows how to change, it’s amazing to see what is possible. My IMPACT Model and IMPACT Programmes have all been designed to support you at whatever stage you have reached.

To book an initial consultation, visit my Make a Booking page. You will have the opportunity to tell me about what you are going through and find out how I can support you. Even if you choose not to work with me, I promise your consultation will give you more ideas, knowledge and insight than you had before.