“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle
One of the most beautiful things I have found about change and its stages is the fact that in those stages everything is included. In total there are 6 stages of change, and honestly the first stage might be my most favorite.
Pre- contemplation: This is the stage where you don’t even know that there is something that needs to change. Isn’t that amazing? Not knowing, not being aware of the fact that something might need to change is part of the process.
Does that change anything for you right now? Did you finally exhale with relief that change is not always a “doing”, and in fact, it begins with where some of you are right now? In my experience as a counselor, and in my own lived experience I have found it common that when it comes to change most people would rather skip all the steps and just get right to the end. In truth, we can't function that way based on the way the brain is designed. We have to build new roads, or neural pathways, and redesign the mental highways before we can have whatever change is available.
When a caterpillar begins its transformation, it goes through complete and total transformation. In order for it to enter it's cocoon it has to allow it's head to fall off, and if that isn't enough, it proceeds to alchemize every atom and molecul to create itself. Becoming a butterfly is actually quite a violent, and at times, quiet process. If the caterpillar were to skip everything that leads up to the moment it breaks from its cocoon would it be as beautiful? Would we cherish the moment of transformational magic? My guess is probably not.
I know some of you might think this is a lofty point of view from a place of privilege. Maybe you think that I have never experienced the kind of change you are currently embarking on all in an attempt to avoid stepping forward, and if that’s the case then congratulations! You have found the pre-contemplative stage all on your own.
If you find yourself here in the pre-contemplative stage, relax! Change is coming, and this moment as it is right now is a gift all of it’s own making. You are never outside this process of transformation and change, even when you find yourself at a point where you don’t even realize that change is on the horizon you are still stepping forward on your next journey.
Some Questions to assist you in this stage:
How have these behaviors, thoughts, or choices worked for me up to now?
Where would I be if I didn’t have these wonderful tools I have been using?
If there was one thing that I could change or do different right now, what would it be?