Dr. Paul Metler
Preparing for Change
Stand on a beach. Walk along the shore. Whether you gaze out at the magnificence of an ocean or the beauty of a lake, you experience an unavoidable attraction. It’s nearly impossible to stand on the shore and avoid shifting your focus to the deep. For some, a simple glance toward the horizon is inspiring. For others, the shoreline can be a miserable place.
Simply stated, the shore is where you are right now. The shore is a metaphor for your present reality. When you look beyond today, is your vision of the future infused with hope and optimism or a sense of dread? Today can be the beginning of change or the continuation of the status quo.
Embrace creative tension.
When you’re on the shore, the sea can beckon for adventure or represent a fearsome unknown. A walk on the beach can disturb your equilibrium. Once you have elevated your gaze—once you’ve allowed the salt air to infect your dreams or imagined the wind filling your sails—life on the shore can never be the same.
A decision to stay on the shore is a form of resignation. A decision to change opens the door to adventure. As you begin to contemplate positive change in your life, you’ll experience an uncomfortable tension. It’s The Reality of Change that begins within you. You can stay on the shore or you can break free.
Take the first step.
Take a moment and imagine you have a seat on the beach. Your toes are in the sand. Lift your gaze above the waves and focus on the horizon. In your hands you have a journal and a pen. At the top of the page you manage to write the following words, “It’s time for change.” Now, without hesitation, what will you write next? Declaring the need to change is only the first step. But, it’s essential.
Making a list is helpful, but it is only the beginning. At some point the list must inspire action. With each step toward positive change, you increase your emotional investment. When you declare your intentions, you expose your heart. Serious change requires serious vulnerability. At some point, you must believe it’s worth the risk. When you’re ready to change, you will crave accountability. You will share your plan and establish checkpoints. Most importantly, you will accept responsibility for each leg of the journey.
Change is fueled by a belief in what is possible. Fear of change is kept alive by beliefs as well. Your beliefs will shape your attitude. Your attitude toward positive change will determine whether you will begin your adventure or succumb to your fears.
If you’re ready to change, you need to read The Reality of Change.