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um-062910-emailMy husband and I are making a big change in our lives right now. We rented our house in Petaluma to a wonderful couple for the next two years. We are leaving the comfort of our home where we have worked, played, entertained, and had countless guests over the last 10 years, and starting a new adventure in Santa Barbara.

I feel change coming like a calling to wake up and go for a run, to get moving. The energy of change can be frustrating if you don’t know what steps to take to COOPERATE with it. Cooperation comes when you realize that this is a moment of freedom in your life not only to consider change, but also to make a change.

I often think about making changes because that’s the basis of so much of the coaching I do. People want to have the freedom to change their way of thinking, or a habit that no longer serves them, or just do something they continue to dream about.

I’ve been asked many times how I coach people through change. Coaching is a committed relationship that gets results. Coaches are committed that you have a breakthrough in performance. Not just that you can have a breakthrough, but that you manifest the change you want! They don’t do it for you, but they believe you can. I believe it’s also necessary to have a working relationship with your inner coach. This is different from an inner critic.

Your inner critic tells you whatever you do, it’s not quite good enough, you won’t get where you want to go, or it’s too hard, or takes too much time and attention. Your inner coach directs you to set goals and keep up with your program, change your strategy when it’s not working, and continue to take steady action until you achieve your goals. And in that process of making the changes you want, you actually transform your inner critic into an inner coach.

When you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, and are committed to make the change, you do succeed. Your plan will include overcoming obstacles both in your thoughts and actions, so blocks don’t stop you; they give you more information about what needs to be done.

So how do you set your inner coach free, and have the freedom to make the changes you want? Here are the 3 steps I used to make the change to move.

1. Inquiry. I start with inquiry because it’s important to take the time to think about what you want, or what happened that is the catalyst for the change. Usually there is a problem you want to solve or address. You want to be more effective in the area of your concern. You want to play the game of business and life more effectively, so you can win and be fulfilled. As a coach, I have to stay in inquiry long enough to see what areas need to be addressed. Are you capable and ready? Are you willing to make some sacrifices to “train” for your event? Are you playing a game that fulfills your vision of a life worth living?

Be patient in the process of inquiry. Even though you may have addressed the same kind of issue before, this time is unique, because you bring who you are today to the inquiry. The key to your performance is in how you see what needs to be developed. If you change your thinking, you have an opportunity to expand what you think is possible. I love what Dolly Parton says, “Figure out who you are and then do it on purpose.” Start now to be the change you’re looking for.

2. Vision. What is your vision of a life worth living? I want to know what ignites your passion. This is instrumental in making a sustainable change. It also is what you consistently revisit if you run into obstacles. Obstacles don’t stop you, when what you’re doing is part of your vision of a life worth living.

Why develop yourself, improve performance, or make a change if it’s not in service to something. When your vision is clear then you’ll know what that something is, and you’ll discover your inner motivation as well as your intention for taking on a goal. Set big goals. You accomplish in relationship to what you set as a goal. Your vision organizes your actions; your inner coach keeps you on track.

3. Begin at the beginning. You have to start where you are. Even though you have the capacity to envision and embrace your new adventure, you must bring your attention to where you are today, and take a series of well-planned steps to make the change you want.

So come back from the visionary process where everything is possible to determine how to get started. What resources do you need and how do you access those resources? Write it down. Everything works perfectly in theory, writing your plan down will help you see if there are any gaps in your thinking, and how to take your first step.

If you want to experience the freedom to change, access your inner coach, and get started, make a request. It’s easy to recognize that coaching starts with a request when someone else is making the request of you for coaching. But it also starts with a request of your inner coach. It can simply be, “How is this moment of freedom calling me forward? Am I willing to do what it takes to make the change?” Once you answer those questions, you can give an unswerving yes to the game you want to play, and the change you want to make.

Given that Independence Day is this week, it’s a good time to think about what freedom means to you. May you be happy, healthy, safe and live with ease.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment.

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