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What If...Enough Wasn't Good Enough?

Jul 2, 2008
The other day a client emailed me with an update and ended with "So thanks for the crappy assignment. It was great."

The comment reminded me of the several hundred individual conversations I'd had at a festival just the weekend before. I was asking people "What If...You Could Love Your Life Even MORE?" Most of them talked about how their life was already pretty good, how they were mostly happy with work and how they had "enough" fun in life. A few talked about how some things could have some room for improvement, a few talked about how they were already having an amazing life and a select few were more than ready for change.

When pressed to answer the question about loving life even more though, the reaction almost across the board was "Oh no, I couldn't possibly do that." What I discovered, rather resoundingly, in these conversations was that for the most part people were scared of actually asking for and getting more of what they really wanted. While they loved the actual idea of Do What You Love, Love What You Do, the reality of what that might mean in their lives felt a little overwhelming. A frequent answer to the question was "I'd probably get in trouble!"

"But what if you could AND you wouldn't get in trouble?" I kept asking. That seemed to make all the difference with those I was talking to. My client had been having a similar problem. Before even coming to work with me she'd already made some amazing strides at changing her life...but she was still afraid and still holding back. So I shared with her this little tidbit called Beckhard's Change Formula. It goes like this:

D x V x FS >R

D = Dissatisfaction with Status Quo
V = Vision
FS = First Steps
R = Resistance to Change

The formula talks about what drives change. If you remember your algebra you'll know that if any one, or any combination, of the elements on the left of the formula is big enough it will overcome the resistance to change (a normal human response pattern.) With my client, she already had the vision and a good set of first steps but she still wasn't uncomfortable enough with the status quo of her life. So to get her uncomfortable enough to change I asked her to "do nothing" for 3 days. That was her crappy assignment. In fact it was so crappy that she couldn't even complete it. She got so incredibly uncomfortable with the reality of staying exactly where she was that about of the way through she launched into action and hasn't slowed down since! It was great. She didn't change her dissatisfaction level because she was more unhappy after doing nothing. What she did was change her tolerance level for that dissatisfaction so that it grew exponentially more motivating.

The people I was talking to all had a similar story but each lacked one of those key components to change. For many it was the dissatisfaction - life was "good enough" even though they knew it could be better. Some even had some first steps they could answer easily. Most had a clear vision of what it would look like as well. The simple truth I was discovering was that that FEAR of things being better was keeping people in the "good enough" lockdown. It might sound ridiculous but haven't you ever been afraid of life getting better? What if you take a risk at it getting better and it just gets worse? That's what was holding these people, holding my client, back!

But what if happy isn't good enough? If life is good don't you want it to be great? When life is great wouldn't you rather be ecstatic? When it's ecstatic what if it could blow your socks off? And when it blows your socks off....well...you get the picture.

But to get there sometimes you have to take some risks...big risks. That's part of the change process. All you can do is manage the risks to yield the best possible result and be dissatisfied enough with where you are to continue holding the vision and creating your next first steps. That's all change is - a series of lowered tolerance for dissatisfaction, a new vision and your next first steps.

So is your life good enough, or are you ready for it to blow your socks off? What risks do you have to take to get there and how can you best manage them?

Or are you content to try the crappy assignment?
About the Author
As a Life Synergy Coach, Angel True empowers impassioned individuals, couples and groups to Craft The Life You Love! Do What You Love, Love What You Do! http://www.AuthenticIntention.com
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