Image courtesy of [supakitmod] /

Image courtesy of [supakitmod] / 

Here we are at year’s end,  a traditional time to ask what we want to achieve in the year ahead.  I’m pretty good at identifying goals, but sometimes struggle with how to achieve them. When contemplating a major change I run into resistance in the form of fears and doubts. I am not the only one, and in fact Steven Pressfield wrote about this phenomenon in his image-filled book Do The Work (2011). The more radical the change the stronger the resistance. Sometimes it reaches Orc-like proportions!

A big fat clue that I’m battling Orcs (AKA big, scary, evil monsters) is that it takes me years to make and act on a decision. Normally I can weigh pros and cons, tune in to what I want and value, make a choice and get moving. But sometimes I get stuck for a long time. The decision to leave full-time employment to work for myself was one of the toughest I’ve ever made.

Earlier I wrote about Prochaska’s stages of change. As Prochaska says, change isn’t always a linear process, but more of a spiral. Indeed I spiraled between the stages of Contemplation, Preparation and Action for years. Some of this had to do with shifts in external circumstances. Much of it had to do with the Orcs I encountered; one big, ugly fear of failure, surrounded by a gang of smaller but equally ugly insecurities. Here’s what helped me fight past the Orcs.

  1.  Training in life coaching through the ILCT that enabled me to become a Board Certified Coach.
  2. A course on establishing a consulting business which provided excellent resources and grounding.
  3. Help and great information from two great coaches, Lauree Ostrofsky and Michele Martin.
  4. A tremendous amount of support, encouragement, excitement and interest from family and friends.
  5. Reflecting on what I want at this stage in my career, and developing and putting tangible action plans in place.
  6. Finding a quiet place. In the midst of battling the Orcs, I found a time of calm where  I could think clearly, and I realized the time was at hand. I moved from Preparation to Action. It was still hard, but that core certainty has stayed with me, serving as my Elvin sword. It has given me the courage to keep moving forward.

What changes do you want to make in 2013? Are Orcs likely to rear up and send you spiraling back in your quest for change? What will help you move forward?

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