Understanding Change as a Process: A Self Aware Leader’s Guide

We all crave change. We want to be better versions of ourselves – wiser, kinder, more successful, healthier. But the journey from where we are to where we want to be is rarely a straight line, and it certainly isn’t quick. Real, lasting change isn’t some lightning-in-a-bottle magic trick. It’s a complex, multifaceted process.

As self-aware leaders, it’s crucial that we recognize this truth. We need to relinquish our tight-fisted grasp on perfectionism and acknowledge that the real transformation happens on the messy middle ground, the part filled with learning curves, stumbles, and setbacks.

Change as a Commitment

The commitment to change is a commitment to continuous work. We make a promise to ourselves to never stop learning, growing, and evolving. It means shedding old habits and patterns of behavior that no longer serve us. It’s time to say goodbye to those lingering character flaws that keep dragging us down.

The desire to “do it right” can be crippling in the face of change. This perfectionist mindset leaves little room for mistakes, for the experimentation that’s critical to the change process. We end up paralyzed at the start, afraid of straying from some imaginary ideal.

The Gift of Messy: Change as a Learning Opportunity

So, we need to flip the script in our minds. Mistakes aren’t flaws—they’re learning opportunities! If you slip up when trying to ditch an old habit, don’t spiral into self-blame. Use it as a chance for reflection:

  • What triggered the slip-up?
  • How did you feel in that moment?
  • Is there something you could do differently next time?

Change should be a constant adventure of discovery. This involves uncovering new, healthier ways of interacting with yourself and the world around you. The goal isn’t to flawlessly execute some change formula – it’s to continually expand your knowledge of yourself and your behaviors.

Practical Tips for Embracing Change as a Process

  1. Be Patient and Kind to Yourself: You didn’t get where you are overnight, and you won’t change overnight either. Celebrate the small steps forward, no matter how minor they seem.

  2. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: We’ve all fallen victim to the all-or-nothing approach. But remember, “done” is always better than “perfect.” Every little shift matters.

  3. Seek Support and Accountability: Find mentors, coaches, or friends who will help you along the way. Accountability creates momentum.

  4. Reflect, Reflect, Reflect: Take time to pause, look back on your journey, and appreciate how far you’ve come. These moments of introspection can become fuel for future change.

It Never Ends, and That’s Beautiful

The best part? The process of change never truly ends. There is always room for more growth, more self-awareness, and more opportunities to step even further into our best selves.

Embrace the journey, own those “messy” moments of learning, and watch yourself transform in ways you never could have imagined.

Let me know if you’d like me to expand on this for your podcast, or have any other topics in mind!