The Alices

Posted on March 5, 2012


There’s not much you can be certain of in life. But one thing you can count on is change. And that’s why I’d like to take this month to ask you to really examine how you deal with this inevitable constant.

I’ve identified three change personalities in my coaching practice: The Alices, The Sign People and The SCA’s. In order for you to begin creating a life you love to live, you’re going to have to first become an SCA-a Successful Change Agent.

If you’re dabbling in Wonderland as an Alice or entertaining a life of fatalism and always looking for signs, then you’re just not going to be successful. Quite frankly, there is no hidden secret to success. You are the one who determines how successful you are going to be in life {and remember, I define success as living a life you love to live.}

Successful change means taking responsibility for your life, defining your goals, creating a realistic plan to get there and then finding ways to keep yourself motivated along the way. It also requires flexibility and a willingness to revise plans when you hit unforeseen roadblocks (and I’ll talk more about this later when I describe the SCA’s.)

Anything other than this means that you’re not really living your life; you’re just being a passive observer. You’re standing on the sidelines, not playing the game. You’re letting things happen to you rather than making things happen for you.

If you read the descriptions of the change personalities and recognize your tendencies in any category than the SCA’s, you’re not going to be successful. But that’s okay. Because, well, you can change. That’s what I’m here to help you do.

Today I’d like to look at the change personality I call The Alice.

Alice is called Alice because she envelopes the lack of initiative of Alice in Wonderland. The Alices of the world are looking for someone else to tell them what to do and who to be. They want a metaphoric Cheshire cat to define their life path. They are drawn to others who will tell them what career to undertake, what causes to fight for, what to wear, and who to date.

I’ve shared with many of you that I used to moonlight as a stylist for the Ann Taylor corporation. I always knew when I was dealing with an Alice in the fitting room because she would buy almost everything I suggested and not question any of my opinions. That’s an Alice for you. She gives up her power because she isn’t consciously aware she has another option.  

The Alices most likely grew up with parents or older siblings who were extremely authoritarian and needed complete control. Alice was taught from a young age that her opinions and thoughts didn’t matter. So for Alice, having control over her own life is a scary concept. It’s not what she’s used to; it’s completely unfamiliar. The idea of learning to trust her own voice seems overwhelming because she’s spent so much of her life listening to the opinions and advice of others that she’s just not sure what her own voice sounds like.

The Alices of the world have been conditioned NOT to trust themselves.  They check in with others constantly in myriad ways to make sure they are making the “right” decisions. They have a very complex way of finding and getting approval, of obtaining advice and of letting others define who they are for them. 

What Alice needs in order to become an SCA is someone who will gently and slowly help her ease towards her own voice. If you’ve identified yourself as an Alice, sign up for a session and ask me to lead you through a thorough Body Compass activity. It will help you begin to get in touch with that inner voice you stopped listening to a long time ago.