March 2009 - The Seven Steps to Change
- The Seven Steps to Change
- The Process of Change
- How we can help others cope
- Resources (links, books, articles, the
Seven Steps to Change
The news is bad, the economy is bad, everyone has a story about someone being
laid off. Maybe you've been laid off. Maybe your company or your
division or your government agency is struggling. "Life is tough, and
then you die" seems to be the real truth right now.
We choose to see the world
As we said last month, "diamonds are
created under great pressure." Our current times offer the greatest
opportunity for creating positive changes that we have seen for many
If we want to change —
and it seems that the majority of people in the US voted for change in our
recent presidential elections — what
is the process? How does it work? That is the subject of this
The 7 Steps of Change
Step 1: Being
in a fixed position is no longer appropriate for the new changes.
Step 2: Noticing the need for change and desiring
We are "stuck" in habit or denial. Does
this sound familiar? This is where the pressure is building but we don't
yet realize that *we* have to change. We may complain and whine and moan
and groan about how tough life is or about the many problems that we
We might notice that some of the CEOs that have recently visited Congress
seem to be stuck at this level - denying that the industry needs to change -
refusing to see that their business model no longer fits the needs of our
We might notice businesses or governments that have kept doing the same
things, not realizing that their customers are changing and wanting different
products or services.
We might notice members of our family or even ourselves not wanting to
change or not realizing that we need to change.
Step 3: Forming
a plan for change and starting to move forward.
At this step, we might have finally begun to realize that we need to
change. We might want to change, but may be afraid, insecure or
We are not sure what to do . This is the creative stage, where
anything is possible. If we ask for help, we can uncover a great many
things that might be possible.
Step 4: Internal attitudes begin to change.
This may be a surface or behavior change. Internal beliefs/motives
haven’t changed yet. There is one foot in the old way and one foot
in the new way.
We are starting to think about how we can make changes to deal with
whatever is happening in our life.
Step 5: Breakthrough. Quantum leap.
We experience an internal revolution. On the outside, people may
seem confused or static ("cocoon" stage).
This can be a long period. The U.S. has been in step 3 and 4 for
Step 6: Rewards of change: thrill, excitement,
want to "preach" to others.
This period is very unstable. Change is happening everywhere at
Sometimes at this stage, people want to shut down and go back to where
they were. To really make the change, it is important to keep moving
forward and not slide back.
Step 7: Being
flexible and having new attitudes and beliefs.
The changes are not yet stable. We may feel very inspired with too much
enthusiasm. We may try to go too fast before the changes have
As we change, it creates pressure on others in our
life. They may be terrified by our movement. We are no longer the
stable influence in their life.
This is where we are "going with the flow" and getting to a new
level of attachment about the changes.
We don't want to get stuck in the same change again and we have full
integration of the changes of the changes we have made.
It is challenging and risk-taking to deal with
changes in our relationships. People will either go along with the
changes or they will move out of our life. New people will come in.
Some people are invested in us being
who we were - the whole environment must change.
Changes are most threatening to those in
"solid" roles/casting (especially Warriors, Kings, some Scholars)
[See our Personality Game for information about the
personality Roles.] They see our changes as disloyal to them and are the
most upset. The more "stuck" they are, the more they’ll try
to resist our changes.
People may throw high energy at us. Our
closest relationship may flare up unexpectedly.
Change is either there or not there. It
happens quickly. Processing takes time to develop and grow, but doesn’t
Our belief system is what keeps us stuck. For
example: The economy could change overnight, if people
- Identify the people that our own changes may affect.
- Acknowledge our role in their life. Talk to each person (in person
or in meditation). Tell them that they are stilled loved and the
changes are not threatening to them.
- Energy goes where our attention goes.
They will get it on an essence level (which is a stronger influence than on
the personality level).
- Know that we are not alone. Changes are never isolated - we are each
connected to many others. We have lots of support during this time
period to make the changes that we need to make. We can call on our
friends to assist us.
- When we notice our friends are struggling, we can provide moral or
emotional support to what they are going through.
- We can help them and ourselves by understanding the 7 steps of change and
not expecting them to be farther along than they are.
- We can be compassionate. We can be patient with others. I f we
are farther along than someone else, we can go forward with our own plans,
knowing that they will catch up with us eventually.
Be willing for
surprises to happen.
Be willing for things
to be different.
Be willing to
have/accept our dreams.
Be willing to be worthy
of what we want.
7% of the country is unemployed, what does that mean? Do the
math -- that means that 93% of the country is employed.
Our belief system guides us at every moment. We can choose to
focus on the bad news or we can choose to focus on the good news
and make the changes we want to make.
Source: This article is based on a workshop we took with
The PowerPath Seminars
in November 1992, which was the last time we had a recession as deep and long as we are
experiencing in early 2009. The information is as relevant
now as it was then. And, the economy did turn around and we experienced a
very high level of prosperity for a number of years. Based on what we know
today, we expect our economy to prosper again, though we will have to make some
fundamental changes in our societal structures to make it complete and get
through all the 7 steps.
Books - Disclosure:
We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.
- What's Right With You: Debunking Dysfunction and Changing Your Life.
Barry Duncan. HCI, 2005. ISBN-10:
0757302548 ISBN-13: 978-0757302541
- Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions.
John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber, Peter Mueller, Spenser Johnson. St.
Martin's Press, 2006 ISBN-10:
031236198X ISBN-13: 978-0312361983
- You'll See It When You Believe It!, Wayne Dyer. Quill; (September 2001)
(with 50 million books in print, Wayne Dyer knows how changing his thinking
profoundly changed his own life and the lives of millions of others who follow his work)
- Zapp: The Lightning of Empowerment: How to Improve Productivity,
Quality, and Employee Satisfaction, William Byham, Jeff Cox.
Fawcett Books; Revised edition (February 1998) ISBN: 0449002829
- The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.
Jose Stevens. New World Library; 1st edition (June 15, 2002) ISBN: 1577312171
- How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New
Ideas. David Bornstein. Oxford University
Press, 2007. ISBN-10:
0195334760 ISBN-13: 978-0195334760
- Change We Can Believe in: Barack Obama's Plan to
Renew America's Promise. Barack Obama. Canongate
Books Ltd, 2009. ISBN-10:
1847674895 ISBN-13: 978-1847674890
- Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living
the Wisdom of the Tao. Wayne W. Dyer. Hay
House, 2009. ISBN-10:
140191750X ISBN-13: 978-1401917500
- Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal
with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. Spencer
Johnson. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1998. ISBN-10:
0399144463 ISBN-13: 978-0399144462
- Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck. Michael
Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor. Lulu.com,
September 2008 ISBN-13:
978-0-557-00377-8. Book's website: www.income-without-a-job.com
Related newsletter article:
March 1996 Laws of Life
1996 -- Managing Change
May 1997 --
Coping with Change
October 1998 -
- One Thing: Great Management and Leadership
2002 - Silicon Valley Management Style
April 2003 -
Management / Leadership Styles (updated) - Continued
June 2001 -
Successful Project Management
2006 - Project Management - Early Warning Signs
2000 - Sponsoring Successful Projects
Come to the edge, she said.
No, we will fall.
Come to the edge, she said.
No, we will fall,
They came to the edge;
She pushed them,
and they flew.
.. Guillaume Apollinaire
- Reality is a state of mind
- People will not admit a problem exists until they perceive there is a
- When faced with an unsolvable problem, change the question.
- There are at least 50 different ways of looking at any situation.
Try to find them.
- When searching for answers, ask, "What is most obvious?"
- There is always an "x" factor at work in any problem,
situation or equation. The "x" factor may be large or
small, but it is always there. Usually, the "x" factor
and/or its significance is not recognized until long after the fact.
- When traveling the Road of Life, never forget: There are critical road
signs missing. Be prepared to change direction and stumble around
(Author: Barbara Taylor)
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