One of the clues that signifies to me that a coaching client is ready to make changes is a palpable tension. They are uncomfortable with themselves or their current situation. This can be exhibited in their bodily movements and posture, and verbally with exclamations such as the obvious, “I’m really fed up with this,” “I’ve had enough,” or “I can’t put up with this anymore!” I expect that you have experienced similar feelings yourself – perhaps more than once?

This tension or friction between who you are now and who you want to be is to be embraced. It means that you are ready for change and importantly, at the stage where you are ready to take action. It may have taken you a while to reach this point because we can fool ourselves into thinking that “it is not a big deal” or that “it is okay really.”

The comfort zone is extremely comfortable (that’s why they’re called comfort zones). However, when enough is enough, you are ready to do the (hard) work, to do things differently and commit to a new outcome. This involves effort (which is why we procrastinate addressing it). Your brain will need to create new neural networks reflecting the new thinking and behaviours and this uses energy.

However, if you know that there are areas where you are not achieving your potential or that you are letting slide, how do get this motivating tension? Recognise there is a conflict between your values, behaviours, and results i.e. what’s happening on the inside will determine what you (and often others) are seeing on the outside.

For example, someone who has a value of reliability will feel conflict if they are in debt and not paying their bills on time. This mismatch between their sense of self, identity and current situation will cause stress. When the pain is strong enough or there is a reward that they could lose if they don’t change, this recognition will eventually galvanise them to finally do something about it.  Much relief will ensue.

In what area(s) are you experiencing tension between who you are and who you want to be?  Let me help you.