Five steps to build the momentum for change

It’s the last day of February and I am standing by the window, staring into space, searching for an answer. I couldn’t see a way through, couldn’t see how things would work out, or what life might be like on the other side. I was petrified of the unknown and it was keeping me trapped somewhere I didn’t want to be. 


Back then I wasn’t an expert in navigating change, I didn’t understand why it felt so hard, so I kept putting it off, knowing deep inside that I couldn’t put it off forever if I wanted to live a life of happiness and fulfilment.

Can you relate? Or possibly know someone who has had a similar experience? 

Change can feel hard, or even impossible to cope with. We sway between an internal dialogue of, ‘things aren’t so bad’ and ‘something needs to change’.

I know I did. Back then, it took many months to build the courage and enough dissatisfaction with my current state before I finally took the first step towards achieving positive change in my life.

Does this sound familiar? If so, just know this is completely normal and you are not alone. 

Change in our lives is inevitable, and whilst some changes may be small and others overwhelmingly large and unknown, by preparing ourselves we can step forward more quickly with courage and strength, embracing the need for change and curious about what is waiting on the other side.  

Here are five steps you can take to help you build the momentum for the changes in your life.

1. Evaluating your current state

There’s a saying that it takes 10 years to change, which comprises nine and a half years to build the courage and six months to implement the changes!

We often get used to our current reality to such an extent that it doesn’t seem that bad, even though in reality it’s not a sustainable place to stay. The first step in building the momentum for change is to tune into our current state, identify the impact of staying where we are, and consider which areas we want to focus on for positive change. 

It can be helpful to reflect on these questions:

  • What does it feel like to be you, right now?
  • What percentage of the time is this emotion present?
  • When was the last time you felt at your absolute best?
  • What would you like to be feeling most often?
  • How far from where you would like to be, are you right now?

2. Understanding how you experience change

Because everyone experiences change slightly differently, it can be helpful to know what change typically looks like for you.

Consider something that has caused a significant change in your life, either which has been imposed or initiated by you.

  • What does change typically feel like for you? 
  • Where do you typically get stuck?
  • What triggers you to become stuck here?
  • What do you do when you get stuck? 
  • What enables you to become unstuck so you can move forward?
  • What, in hindsight, would have helped this happen more quickly?

These questions can help build the momentum for change and remove the dread so that even though you still experience the effects of change, you know what to expect.

3. Building the courage to change

Effectively navigating change requires the courage to step forward, even when we don’t yet know what the outcome will be. We may need to build this courage, because whilst staying where we are might not be desirable, it is what we know, and what we know is often more comfortable than the unknown.

Rather than seeing the decision to change as an optional ‘yes’ or ‘no’, I would encourage you to make the decision to do something and then build the courage you need to go for it. This includes reflecting on how your current situation is impacting you and those around you and creating a sense of safety around being vulnerable. 

  • How satisfied are you with your current situation?
  • What is the impact of staying where you are?
  • What needs to happen for you to create safety around being vulnerable?

4. Creating the conditions for success

We can sometimes go through change simply hoping that it will work out fine. This is like baking a cake by simply chucking a load of ingredients into a baking tin. It might be the best cake we’ve ever made, but we’re certainly leaving that outcome very much to chance!

You have the power to define and create the conditions for success, and to identify exactly what is needed to help you achieve the changes you want to make.

Consider what success looks like for the change you are about to embark on and what resources and support will help you. Outline your options for things not working out the first time, and what you will do if change starts to feel too hard.

5. Deciding where to begin

Having built the courage and created the conditions for success, you are probably feeling less daunted by the prospect of change. Knowing where to start might still feel like a challenge. One approach might be to consider what feels manageable for you right now and enables you to remain within your boundaries for safety. What one step could you take today?

Imagine embarking on a change journey with this new insight. Would you feel more ready and less likely to put it off until another time?

Sitting on the other side of the changes I mentioned at the beginning, I know it was the right decision to make, and building the momentum for change would have enabled me to get started much sooner.

Roy Bennett said, “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Building the momentum for change can help us to expand our comfort zone just enough to make the decision to go for it, which I truly hope you will do!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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