Ready to Change? Read this FIRST.

Posted on September 6, 2011


After working with countless numbers of clients from all walks of life, on issues ranging from relationship woes to job dissatisfaction, I’ve discovered the number one reason why people don’t change: They aren’t ready to.

I know this may sound too simple. With all of the theories and reasons and literature out there on the difficulties of change, how could I sum up a complex process with such a simple philosophy? You, in fact, may be thinking of times in your own life when you feel that you really wanted to change but you just couldn’t seem to make it happen.

But if you sit for a minute and think of why you didn’t get started on that project you wanted to complete or why you gave up on that goal, or why you weren’t able to successfully finish what you began, you’ll realize that when you strip these situations of all of your excuses, it comes down to this: You just weren’t ready.

Being ready to change means that you possess two essential things: resources and motivation. If one of those is missing, you’re going to fail.

I have a friend who decided to go off and start her own business. She is a very motivated person and she naively believed that her motivation alone would result in her success. What she didn’t realize, until it was too late, was that all the motivation in the world wasn’t enough to keep her business afloat.

She got a business license, rented an office, hired an expensive website designer and then spent the next six months working 12-14 hours a day. She was incredibly motivated. No argument there. But she wasn’t ready for this change. She didn’t spend time getting the resources she needed to go off on her own. She didn’t have enough money, support or information to start and maintain a successful business. Motivation without resources means you’re not ready to change. 

I have another friend with a somewhat different problem. This friend wants to lose 50 pounds. She is a resource-gatherer if I ever met one.

Every time we talk she tells me about the newest book she’s read on weight loss or the research she’s doing on creating a healthy diet or the new weight-loss support group she’s located online. This woman probably knows more about the weight loss process than anyone else I know. Thing is, she’s been gathering resources for over 2 years now. 2 years. She has everything she needs to lose weight. Problem is, she has no motivation to do it. Resources without motivation means you’re not ready to change.

In order to change you’ve got to be ready. In order to be ready, you must have adequate resources and a good deal of motivation. And in order to get both the resources you need and the motivation, you’ve got to get through the first 3 psychological stages of change: Precontemplation, Contemplation and Preparation.

We’ll look at these stages individually and in more depth in future posts.