Is It Worth It?
How to Weigh the Pros and Cons of Change
There is a comic graphic created by Randy Glasbergen that pictures a man sitting at his office desk, on the phone, with the caption, “I need you to find a radically innovative new way to keep everything exactly the same.”
It made me laugh when I first read it thinking about my own journey with change and the people we work with during Health Coaching visits. The desire for change is often present when we have a goal, but so are the concerns around what that change is going to mean in our lives.
Change can be exciting. It often brings a feeling of accomplishment, an increased sense of trust in ourselves and our resilience, and a sense confidence. It can lead to career advancements, health improvements, stronger relationships – all amazing stuff. And it also comes with unknowns and perhaps some uncertainty.
When making a change, it’s important to understand and empathize with all the internal thoughts and feelings we may have, because some are obvious, and others are not as clear when we first think about change.
Let’s look at some of the considerations we may have when deciding if we want to change. The more we become aware of what change could mean in our lives, the easier it is to make informed choices, and to discover how to work with any resistant parts of ourselves.
I invite you to grab a pen and paper and reflect on the questions below to help you gain clarity on your journey.
We’ll talk about the obvious, and then work our way back to the not so obvious considerations.
Benefits of Making a Change
One easy question to consider is: What are the benefits of making a change?
You may also want to ask yourself:
· How would my life be different and exciting?
· How would this change support my overall happiness, including how I feel about myself?
These answers will help us build our desire for change.
Downsides of Not Making the Change
It is also helpful to consider connecting with what could happen in our lives if we don’t make a change.
This may lead to questions like:
· How might my health or my relationships suffer if I don’t make a change?
· What might I lose or miss out on if I don’t make a change?
These answers can also help us to have a better idea of why change is important to us.
Downsides of Making the Change
This brings us to the subtle and sometimes unspoken ways we weigh out the pros and cons of change. If we are not making a change, we say we want to make, chances are we see a potential downside to it.
We get these answers by asking questions like:
· If I make this change, how could it potentially negatively impact me or my relationships?
· What could I potentially lose that I value if I make this change?
Hint: The downsides of making a change can sometimes be connected to what could change in our relationship to other people – to our partners, community groups, and families.
When we change, fear can sometimes come up that we may be seen in a different light by others, possibly in ways that can trigger them or us. It’s super helpful to come to an honest understanding about what these downsides are for you. Knowing this, we can choose whether we want this to be a reason we don’t move forward.
This could also lead to conversations with ourselves and others about how we can address potential downsides while getting our needs met. This strengthens our case for making the change without giving up something we value.
Benefits of Not Making the Change
Finally, we want to explore the benefits of not making a change.
Questions that can help with this are:
· What do I like about my life now that may be different if I make this change?
· What about my life feels safe, comfortable, or easy that I’m telling myself I would have to give up if I were to change?
Again, we want to remember that if we are not making a change, we say we want to make, there must be a perceived benefit to staying where we are, whether this is obvious at first or not.
If you’re feeling stuck around a goal or a change you’d like to make, take some time to reflect and journal about these questions. This can be a gold-mine of information and can help us move forward.
Would you like some additional support? You are not alone, and change takes time! It takes practice and often it can be helpful to reach out for the support of a coach, therapist, friend, or mentor.
If you are a Whole Health Plan Member, the Medical & Wellness Centers located in Austin, Texas and Glendale, California are available for support. Give us a call.
If you are Whole Health Plan member and have not established care with the Center for your primary care services, call us to make an appointment or learn more about the benefits available to you as a patient of the Center.
You can explore our website to learn more about us at https://www.wfmmedical.com/