Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stage 2 of the 4 Stages of Change and How to Overcome Obstacles.

In an earlier blog post I addressed the first stage of change that was based on Dr. James Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Change tool. One of the key elements of Prochaska’s model is that it flies in the face of the “just do it” mentality of jumping in with both feet to change. The “just do it” mentality causes us to jump right past the preparation stages. However, according to this model, that preparation and contemplation is exactly what we need to ensure we don’t jump into action, only to fail before our changes are sustainable.

If you are considering changing your career, or just your job, these stages may help you figure out where you are, and more importantly how to overcome your obstacles.

Stage 2 – Contemplation
Unlike the people who are in precontemplation that I talked about last week, if you are in the contemplation stage you have decided that the pros and cons of change are relatively equal. In this stage, you are seriously considering change, but you are either not quite ready to act or don’t know how to get started. In this stage you are beginning to obtain the confidence you will need to make a change in your job or career, but you are still in the imagining, envisioning, and discovery process.

The biggest obstacle in this stage is a lack of motivation or sense of urgency. Fear of change can often be the cause for this obstacle.

Strategy to Overcome and Move Forward:
In order for a change to be effective, and permanent, you must be excited about the positive potential of the change. Try to identify your key motivators for making a change. Seek out people who have made similar changes and learn from their stories of success. Identify, evaluate, and accept your fears. This will help you to allay those fears of leaving behind the familiar before embarking on the next stage of change.

People may get stuck in the contemplation stage if they feel as though they are not prepared for the changes they are seeking. You may lack some of the necessary skills, knowledge, or information to move forward.

Strategy to Overcome and Move Forward:
Make the effort to learn new skills, seek new information, and gain additional knowledge. Search for information, supportive resources, new perspectives, or skill-building activities. Seek the advice or assistance of a mentor, coach, or counselor if you feel it will help you make it to the next stage.

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